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Strategic Data Augmentation with CTGAN for Smart Manufacturing: Enhancing Machine Learning Predictions of Paper Breaks in Pulp-and-Paper Production

Hamed KhosraviSarah FarhadpourManikanta GrandhiAhmed Shoyeb RaihanSrinjoy DasImtiaz Ahmed
Nov 2023
A significant challenge for predictive maintenance in the pulp-and-paper industry is the infrequency of paper breaks during the production process. In this article, operational data is analyzed from a paper manufacturing machine in which paper breaks are relatively rare but have a high economic impact. Utilizing a dataset comprising 18,398 instances derived from a quality assurance protocol, we address the scarcity of break events (124 cases) that pose a challenge for machine learning predictive models. With the help of Conditional Generative Adversarial Networks (CTGAN) and Synthetic Minority Oversampling Technique (SMOTE), we implement a novel data augmentation framework. This method ensures that the synthetic data mirrors the distribution of the real operational data but also seeks to enhance the performance metrics of predictive modeling. Before and after the data augmentation, we evaluate three different machine learning algorithms-Decision Trees (DT), Random Forest (RF), and Logistic Regression (LR). Utilizing the CTGAN-enhanced dataset, our study achieved significant improvements in predictive maintenance performance metrics. The efficacy of CTGAN in addressing data scarcity was evident, with the models' detection of machine breaks (Class 1) improving by over 30% for Decision Trees, 20% for Random Forest, and nearly 90% for Logistic Regression. With this methodological advancement, this study contributes to industrial quality control and maintenance scheduling by addressing rare event prediction in manufacturing processes.
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