Our everyday lives are affected by paper and converting products. Foil, paper, textile, film, metal, nonwovens, and other material webs are laminated, coated, and treated in a number of ways to create intermediate or final products.
These web materials are employed in flexible packaging, cans, tapes, tags, labels, wraps, and multiple other industrial and consumer products. The quality of the converting products affects its ability to package, seal, protect, or perform its primary function.
Most consumers do not realize the quality parameters important to the packaging or products they use. Measuring moisture ensures a flat, usable product and decreases energy costs. Measuring adhesive thickness, coat weight, or lacquer ensures uniform quality and decreases the costs of the product. All of this benefits the customer.
For quality control, Near Infrared (NIR) measurements supply an economical alternative to highly regulated nuclear gauging. In comparison to other technologies such as microwave, ultrasound, and time-of-flight, NIR transmitters are also simple to install, calibrate, and maintain, with extremely low cost of operation.
For the converting plant, on-line measurement of moisture and coat weight speeds startup and reduces scrap and energy costs. Real-time measurement also optimizes quality control while enabling for roll-to-roll or customer-run data archiving. Process Sensors Corporation® (PSC) has developed both Cross-Direction Web Profile Systems and fixed point transmitters to perform these measurements.
The measuring points, quality parameters, and value offerings typically stay the same, whether your converting process has a coating covering paper, film or other material.
Quality Parameters and Measuring Points
The analyzers developed by Process Sensors can be utilized to control the converting process—including characterizing incoming raw material, coating or drying, and re-moisturizing stations—ultimately optimizing process efficiency and reducing costs.
During the converting process, it is costly to either add or remove moisture, so the more accurate the controls and measurements, the more efficiency that is gained. Measurement and control of coat weight thickness improve coating uniformity and reduces waste.
Accuracy is +/- 0.1% moisture from 0.1 – 95% moisture, and +/- 1 GSM (gram/m2) for coat weight and the measurements are highly reliable and repeatable. The Guardian scans the entire web and provides a cross-direction (CD) zoned web profile and machine direction trend for system operation for the ultimate in-process monitoring.
The color-coded CD profile visually shows the in-spec products as green zones, alerts in yellow, and alarms in red. In order to alert operators when the product is in the alarm condition, this can be connected to a color-coded Stack Light with an annunciator.
Machine Direction Trends enables any troublesome zones to be diagnosed and corrected. Direct integration to plant PLCs is enabled by a data bus interface.
Quality and Value
Implementation of PSC on-line moisture sensors and the Guardian Web Profiling System for moisture measurement makes start up faster, reduces waste, increases production output, and enables data archiving by roll or production run for traceability. For quality control purposes, data archiving via Ethernet enables production lots to be associated with modifications to unit operations, operators, setups, or work shifts.
If a converting production line must be started without an on-line measurement system, then a sample must be gathered and sent to the factory laboratory for analysis; only then can system adjustments be done. The production is idled while the quality of the product is verified. This manual process is then repeated until the line is performing efficiently.
With an online system, this process is carried out in real-time, resulting in increased efficiency and cost savings from much faster startups or change-overs. On-going production monitoring verifies product quality and reduces out of specification product and claims.
Similar value can be realized from film thickness, coat weight, and other measurements.
The PSC Advantage
Process Sensors has global sales and support offices and assists on projects from installation and integration of your system with responsive support after the sale, to initial scope and estimation of potential ROI.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Process Sensors Corporation.
For more information on this source, please visit Process Sensors Corporation.