A Knowledge-Based Approach for Microwire Casting Plant Control

A Knowledge-Based Approach for Microwire Casting Plant Control

S. Zaporojan (Technical University of Moldova, Republic of Moldova), C. Plotnic (Technical University of Moldova, Republic of Moldova), I. Calmicov (Technical University of Moldova, Republic of Moldova) and V. Larin (Microfir Tehnologii Industriale Ltd, Republic of Moldova)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-811-7.ch019
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This chapter presents the main ideas and preliminary results of an applied research project concerning the development of an intelligent plant for microwire casting. The properties of glass-coated microwires are useful for a variety of sensor applications. On the other hand, the process of casting can be one of the methods of nanotechnology and advanced materials. In microwire continuous casting, the main control problem is to maintain the optimum thermal and flow conditions of the process, in order to fabricate the microwire of a given stable diameter. Unlike a conventional casting plant, we propose to use a video camera to take the picture of the molten drop and to control the casting process by means of a knowledge based system. For this reason, a model, that is capable of taking into account the current features of the process and of describing the shape of the drop at each time, is developed. The model presented here should allow us to estimate the geometry of the metal-filled capillary and predict the diameter of microwire at each time during the casting process.
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The aim of modeling is capturing the essence of phenomena behavior. When complete knowledge of a process eludes us, we build models in order to obtain some measure of control over that process. A model is never entirely correct but it is useful if it explains and predicts the behavior of the process within the limits of precision required for the task. It is essential that the users of the model understand well the conditions over which the model has been developed and consequently the regimes of its validity. If the phenomenon to be modeled is understood well enough to construct a model and if its mathematical formulation is suitable to be analytically or numerically solved, then the resulting model is a powerful tool as it enables us to explain and predict system behavior within the bounds of the validity of model.

The process of microwire casting is qualified with a highly elevated level of complexity. It represents a joining of interactions, such as mechanical, thermal, electrodynamical, physical, and chemical. More than that, those interactions are not just multiple but are overlapped during the time of casting. It can be supposed that a model of casting might be derived from the underlying properties of the process. However, even under various approximations, the final model will be too difficult, of high order, nonlinear and so on.

Having a high degree of complexity, the creation of a mathematical complete and proper model for the automation and optimization of the process of microwire casting represents a highly difficult problem (Berman, 1972). We believe that pure physical and mathematical evaluation of the discussed process doesn't represent a practical solution.

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