This paper describes a computer system for the on-line capture of sensory data and for the multivariate analysis of this data both alone and in conbination with other analytical results. The system has been used as a means of understanding and correcting problems of product uniformity arising across a multiplant operation. The system for on-line capture of sensory data is based on an Apple II computer linked to 10 custom built scoring stations. These latter consist of an indexing register of 24 LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) and a scoring register of 9 buttons together with associated LEDs. An assessor selects a particular index using 2 separate buttons and then enters a score by pushing one of the nine scoring buttons. The software is in two parts, subroutines written in Assembler for the management of the system, transfer of data and display of data together with user specific programs written in Basic. If for any particular experiment only a few indexes are needed the rest can be blocked from the microcomputer. As an assessor enters results at his terminal they are displayed on the master monitor. When all assessments are complete the data is then stored by the Apple cmputer and any further processing can be carried out. For multivariate analysis the sensory data is combined with analytical data and analysed using the SAS Statistical Package running on a mainframe computer. It is hoped that this analysis will, in the future, yield data fast enough for corrective action to be taken on the plant.
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