Profile Monitoring of Probability Density Functions via Simplicial Functional PCA With Application to Image Data

The advance of sensor and information technologies is leading to data-rich industrial environments, where large amounts of data are potentially available. This study focuses on industrial applications where image data are used more and more for quality inspection and statistical process monitoring. In many cases of interest, acquired images consist of several and similar features that are randomly distributed within a given region. Examples are pores in parts obtained via casting or additive manufacturing, voids in metal foams and light-weight components, grains in metallographic analysis, etc. The proposed approach summarizes the random occurrences of the observed features via their (empirical) probability density functions (PDFs). In particular, a novel approach for PDF monitoring is proposed. It is based on simplicial functional principal component analysis (SFPCA), which is performed within the space of density functions, that is, the Bayes space B2. A simulation study shows the enhanced monitoring performances provided by SFPCA-based profile monitoring against other competitors proposed in the literature. Finally, a real case study dealing with the quality control of foamed material production is discussed, to highlight a practical use of the proposed methodology. Supplementary materials for the article are available online.