OAS CASE STUDY

The monitoring of reaction data to understand and define success criteria

 

Background

Oxford Advanced Surfaces (OAS) manufacture specialised surface treatments and coatings for various industries including the automotive industry. OAS are vertically integrated and manufacture key raw materials in house as well as formulating their coating products. This allows robust control of the consistency and quality of materials used in their products.

Scope

  • Digitising OAS Labs - OAS wanted to modernise their chemistry labs by embracing digital technologies.
  • Monitor consistency from batch to batch - OAS wanted to utilise DigitalGlassware® to monitor time course sensor data to ensure quality moving from batch to batch.
  • “When it goes wrong, we want to know” - Real time sensor data and cloud capture meant all the results were available immediately. OAS wanted to build and access data sets to help understand better when things do go wrong.

Equipment Used

  • DeviceX-L (running large batches, 10 litre, therefore used longer version of DeviceX)
  • EnvironmentalSensor
  • DigitalController
  • Tablet with RecipeRunner from DigitalGlassware® installed

Outputs

  •  Time course sensor data reveals chemistry to be much more robust than previously thought

It was previously thought that the chemist would need to take particular care during an exothermic addition step to maintain and control the temperature to ensure consistent quality and yield. The DigitalGlassware® was able to record and capture the temperature variations over multiple runs and showed that by varying the addition rate the temperature increases did fluctuate but crucially these fluctuations did not affect the final quality of the product. By using DigitalGlassware® to continually monitor and record, OAS discovered their chemical procedure is more robust than they previously though

  • Access to real time sensor data saved time in the lab

Once a Recipe has been created and the DeviceX set up, having access to real time sensor data that you can monitor wherever you are (just need the tablet and internet connection) frees up the user to do other things, saving time normally spent heading to the lab to check on the chemistry.

 

  • Building data sets for future modelling efforts

One of the future outcomes is the prospect of an anomaly detection model that can leverage the successful data captured and ensure any anomalies in sensor traces are identified and brought to the users’ attention.

“The DigitalGlassware® software and hardware has been fantastic, and we were amazed at how easy it was to install and get running. The import function in Recipes is great, as is the live tracker in RecipeRunner, the remote monitoring of temperatures was really useful and accurate. Having the data at hand helped solve issues faster and once set up saves time during the run. As it is cloud-based, it also helped, with the COVID-19 situation, as we could monitor things in the lab without physically being there.”

Jon-Paul Griffiths
Chief Technology Officer
Oxford Advanced Surfaces

 

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