SenseLink QM In-line Quality Detection
Real-Time Quality Monitoring and Fault Detection

photo - SenseLink QM

SenseLink QM provides an entire solution for process monitoring, fault detection, and part quality prediction utilizing multivariate analysis (MVA) technology. Adding MVA to your process will provide the highest level of process monitoring and fault detection attainable. All necessary data acquisition, multivariate processing, electrical and control functions come from a self contained, compact unit. The multivariate libraries and automated modeling functions were developed by MKS, the market leader for MVA software. Adding SenseLink QM to your industrial manufacturing processes will provide in-process fault detection along with contribution details which provide an understanding of your process not attainable from traditional SCADA and SPC approaches.

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SenseLink QM In-line Quality Detection - click to zoom
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SenseLink QM Web-based User Interface - click to zoom

Multivariate analysis provides a significant fault detection improvement over typical SPC type or univariate solutions currently being used to allow manufacturers to eliminate manual and visual quality inspection and to achieve parametric release or "lights out" manufacturing operations; additional, typical ROI benefits include:

  • Lights-Out Manufacturing: Full Parametric release for 100% Quality Control.
  • Reduced Operator "in-process" testing.
  • Reduce routine visual inspection costs by 33%.
  • Reduce number of exceptions by 50%.
  • Defect Root Cause Analysis: Reduce MTTD (Mean-Time-To-Detect) by over 50%.
  • Reduce Machine Downtime by 5%.
  • Reduced Product Variability: Increase Cpk by 10%.
  • Full ROI within 2 quarters

The SenseLink QM mounts to almost any industrial manufacturing machine and connects to existing machine sensors. Process data is acquired from analog, digital, PLC's and/or networked sources. All configuration and model creation functionality is accomplished via a web browser user interface, so no additional software is required.

Features & Benefits:

  • Identify the quality of parts in-process
    Detected faults based on out-of-spec critical part dimensions as well as physical defects which include flash, short shots, sink marks, voids, burning, contamination, bubbles, surface appearance defects, weld integrity, poor seal bond, imperfect granulation, tablet density, weight, Preform pearlescence, and others.
  • Setup using automated modeling capabilities; does not require MVA training.
  • Models can adapt to acceptable process changes resulting from material viscosity changes, time, environment, etc.
  • Process variables contributing to poor quality are easily identified.
  • Compact; easy to mount and integrate
  • Reduced false alarms over typical univariate methods used in injection molding industry. For example, by increasing the number of process variables from 10 to 15, the number of false alarms increases nearly 50% (false alarm rate increases from 2.9% to 4.4%) when using univariate or SPC fault detection approaches, whereas, adding process variables to a MVA system does not increase the number of false alarms.
  • Easy web browser configuration and data analysis; no additional software required
  • Excellent multivariate prediction capabilities with existing machine sensors; does not require cavity sensors
  • Automatic part containment
  • Production, yield, OEE, and detailed multivariate reporting capabilities
  • More efficient preventative maintenance scheduling
  • Real-time process control with velocity to pressure (VP) switch over capabilities

System Operation:

Once SenseLink QM is installed on a system data can be collected, stored, and retrieved, as well as sent to a networked database for additional storage. Using multivariate techniques, the system builds a multivariate model around the optimized process with an acceptable processing window, established from a design of experiments (DOE). New data is then compared in real-time to the alarm limits developed by the model. The multivariate alarms are then triggered if the new data is off-spec, sending a reject signal to a part containment device for real-time part containment. Contribution plots are then shown, for each cycle, ranked by significance as to which variable or interaction of variables was responsible for the alarm. The results are available for web browser review and sent to local servers

For slowly shifting or drifting processes, adaptive techniques are included to allow the model to adjust to the process change. As a result false alarms are minimized. Adaption can be reset to the model baseline after machine or sub-component maintenance is performed or as new process inputs are set. The multivariate models that are utilized for process defects detection consist of Principle Component Analysis (PCA) and Project to Latent Structures (PLS).


SenseLink QM is a data acquisition system with a multivariate data analysis engine that was developed for any industrial manufacturing process, and be used with manufacturing processes or secondary operations to provide significant ROI benefits through improved process understanding, shortened process debug times, reduced scrap, and reduced product recalls. Plastics manufacturing processes and secondary operations that are or can be used with the SenseLink QM are:

  • Casting
  • Compounding
  • Blow Molding - Extrusion and Injection
  • Insert Molding
  • Multi-shot Injection Molding
  • Metal Injection Molding
  • Gas Assist Injection Molding
  • Coatings Applications
  • Thermoset, LSR Molding
  • Painting and other Secondary Operations
  • Form, Fill, and Seal Operations
  • Thermoforming
  • Extrusion - tube, sheet, film, etc.
  • Welding (RF & Ultrasonic)
  • Tablet Compression
  • Spectral Analysis
  • Assembly operations

System Components:

Each SenseLink QM system is contained within a single, compact data acquisition and computing module. The module consists of the MKS PAC hardware platform with SenseLink data monitoring software, and multivariate analysis software. The SenseLink QM system can run up to 8 simultaneous MVA models.

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The PAC platform CPU module, which runs the SenseLink QM, can interface directly with your own PLC over Ethernet and comes with a minimum size of 130 x 125 x 140 mm (W x H x D), with expandable common IO modules (analog, digital, temperature input) of 35 mm x 125 mm x 92.3 mm (W x H x D). The number of process variables which can be collected is potentially unlimited.