Let’s Laminate

 

Lamination is essentially marrying two or more layers of materials together to obtain superior performance characteristics for specific product applications.   Near IR Transmitters are well established to measure moisture and coating thickness in the lamination process.  Cross Direction Web Profilers greatly assist in producing an even in-specification profile of adhesive thickness.  The resulting composite may be designed as a superior moisture or odor barrier, to highlight/protect appearance or gloss, reduce sound transmission, to increase strength or structural stability and many other applications.

Auto windscreens (windshields)  laminate two pieces of glass with a layer of PVB (polyvinylbutyral)  or other suitable polymer to prevent or minimize sharp glass shards from showering on driver and passengers on impact by wrapping the glass surfaces with the polymer.  Near IR can measure the film moisture and thickness.

Converting industries such as Tag, Tape & Labels, Packaging & Release Liners, Textiles and others operate Near IR to measure the adhesive coat weight applied and the moisture after unit operations such as dryers, re-moisturizers and final windup for QC and Process Control.  For converting applications a two roll laminator is often employed with one roll made of neoprene or other suitable rubber and the other roll made of steel or chrome plated.  The rubber roll applies pressure to the adhesive but also allows for compensation of caliper variations.  Nip roll pressure and skew assist in optimizing the process.

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Happy St. Patty’s Day!

St. Patty Leprechaun kid 031716St. Patty’s Day is celebrated on March 17th to honor his death in 461 A.D.   Allegedly he was born in 385 A.D. to Roman parents in Wales and kidnapped at the age of 16 to be sold into slavery in Ireland.  There, while working as a shepherd he had a religious experience and began preaching. 

33.7 Million Americans of Irish Descent, about 7 times more than the population of the Republic of Ireland (4.6 Million)

First St. Patty’s Day Parade was not held in Ireland.  It was held in Boston in 1737 and NY began the tradition in 1762.  The parades were held to demonstrate the growing social and political power of the often oppressed Irish immigrants

Guinness sells 5.7 Million pints per day on average.  Sales jump to over 11 Million pints on St. Patty’s Day

First US President to attend a St. Patty’s Day Parade was Harry Truman in 1948

Largest St. Patty’s Day Parade is in New York City drawing over 1 Million people.   In Chicago, Illinois they dye the river with 40 tons of Kelly Green eco-friendly vegetable dye.  The tradition started in 1962.  The color lasts for between 5 and 8 hours.  Catfish must love it!  Among the largest celebrations are Boston MA (since 1901) and …… Savannah, Georgia!

Shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade is in Hot Springs, Arkansas at 98 feet

The original color associated with St. Patty’s Day was blue, it later became green associated with the green springs in Ireland and allegedly a freedom movement.  You will often see blue as an alternate color to green among revelers

The Shamrock is associated with St. Patrick as he used it as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity when he introduced Christianity to the Pagan Celts

While legend has it that St. Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland, there are actually no snakes native to Ireland.  It was too cold in the Ice Age for snakes to survive and the surrounding ocean prevented any snakes from reaching Ireland

The traditional Irish meal of Corned Beef and Cabbage has nothing to do with corn.  The “corn” refers to the large salt crystals used to cure the beef

“Erin go Bragh” roughly translates to “Ireland Forever”

 

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So, You’ve Decided that a Photometer will Meet Your NIR Application Needs

Why Choose Process Sensors?

 

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Superior Technology & Support After Sale At A Reasonable Price

 

  • Accurate & Reliable
  • Easy to Operate &  Easy to Calibrate
  • Dual Core Architecture:  One core dedicated to NIR signal acquisition and the other programmed to manage computations and communications options
  • Built in cooling panel and air purge assembly
  • Adjustable filter wheel speed
  • Embedded bootloader for firmware upgrades
  • Viewer Suite Software:  Allows remote viewing  and editing of all MCT Transmitter functions
  • Communication Options:  Ethernet, Ethernet IP, OPC, Modbus TCP, Devicenet, Profibus etc.
  • Support After Sale:  Two Year Extended Warranty on Parts and Labor
  • Remote Trouble Shooting & Diagnostics

Free Sample Analysis, Feasibility Studies & On-Site Demo

Call Us Today to Discuss Your Application!

Do You Know How Cereal Flakes Are Frosted?

Cereal Process DiagramThose delicious flakes frosted with sugar and similar spices like cinnamon to mini-wheat biscuits are carefully monitored for accurate FDA Food Safety and Compliance Standards.  Process Sensors helps make these important measurements.  Measuring the water based sugar coating and vitamin enrichment stations is very similar to our PSC water based coat weight measurement for labels and tapes.  The sugar water ratio is well controlled with precise metering systems and liquid/solid refractometry analyzers.

Cereal flakes were invented by Dr. John Kellogg and his brother Will Kellogg (W.K.) in 1894, at their Battle Creek, Michigan, sanitarium. They were experimenting with wheat, trying to make “a digestible substitute for bread,” when they accidentally left a batch soaking in water overnight. The next day, they discovered it could be formed and baked into little flakes.

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After four more years of trial and effort, the Kelloggs successfully applied the process to corn. However, they only sold cornflake by mail as a health food, to patients and former patients; Dr. Kellogg wasn’t interested in distributing it to the general public.

Flaked and sugar flaked cereals soon became an American staple with milk as a source of fortified Vitamin D from multiple suppliers.  The flakes are sprayed with a sweet (sugary) solution at approximately 230 degrees C followed by rotary drum dryers and then a vitamin spray bath.  Click Here to see a video on the process.  The dried and sugary vitamin enhanced flakes are then packaged for supermarket shelves.

Each unit operation contributes to shelf life and taste, and benefits from monitoring with Near Infrared (NIR) Process Analyzers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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Why Is Veteran’s Day Always On November 11th?

History of Veterans Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

As we know, WWI did not end all wars and after WWII and the Korean Conflict what was originally a celebration of Armistice Day  became Veteran’s Day to honor the Great Sacrifices of Many who fought for our Freedom Today.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Read more here.

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Pressure Sensitive Adhesives

Pressure Sensitive Adhesives (PSA) continue to expand their applications in packaging, converting, assembly, bookbinding, nonwovens, foot wear, automotive and many other markets. Infrared (IR) and Near Infrared (NIR) transmitters offer economical tools to improve Quality Control and Assurance while increasing Production Opportunity with improved Process Control.

Near Infrared Transmitters can measure wet end water based coatings, dry end organic depositions, pre-treatments and hot melt adhesive thickness.  Roll, Doctor Blades, Air Knifes, Die Bolts and other coaters benefit from these measurements.  These NIR transmitters can also measure moisture at the dryer exit and after re-moisturizing unit operations to reduce lay flat and edge curl.  Mounting these transmitters on a scanning frame equipped with a position encoder, the web profile can be mapped on a PC to assist in maintaining a uniform profile across the web.

Infrared Pyrometers and Thermal Imaging Systems allow for temperature measurements to be incorporated into the control scheme and detection of hot spots in the manufacturing process.  Pyrometers can be mounted at the exit of the dryer or internally for specific zone measurement.  Thermal Imagers can identify cold and hot spots across the product to identify problems in unit operations that can then be corrected.  Together NIR and IR tools greatly assist the development of consistent and uniform manufacturing while reducing the cost of manufacturing in-specification product.

 

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Guy Fawkes – Bonfire Night in the UK!

November 5th is celebrated with Bonfires, Guy Fawkes masks and music throughout the UK.  Generally folks appreciate the revelry and often overlook the story.  Guy Fawkes tried to kill  King James and Blow Up Parliment back in 1605 over religious persecution.  Click Here to Read More.     V is for Vendetta is a very interesting movie taking place in the future that makes use of the now famous Guy Fawkes mask and story.  Below is an excerpt from the movie in which Hugo Weaving as V delivers a stirring speech!

 

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot…

“Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant and vanished.”

“However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.”

 

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Happy 4th of July!

May Freedom Ring!

 

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SnackEx 2015 Istanbul

SNACKEX 2015 closed its doors on 11 June after a record attendance of over 2,600 snack industry professionals from 83 countries.

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SNACKEX is organised by the European Snacks Association (ESA) and is the only savoury snack and snack nuts event in Europe serving as the pre-eminent business meeting place for the whole industy.

 

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OPC, Kepware, DDE, Ethernet, Modbus/TCP! What Does All of This Mean?

Software communication options can sometimes be confusing and complex when first encountered.  Listed below is a glossary of common acronyms, what they represent and a brief outline of our PSC Viewer Suite Software and Guardian Communications.  Please visit our Process Sensors Website for more information.

 

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Ethernet:  Physical method of cabling that connects devices on the Ethernet network.  Basically, there are two types of Ethernet, Local Area Network (LAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN).  LAN example might be computers in an office connecting to a central server.  WAN example might be doing your banking over the internet.  Our transmitters and Guardian Systems communicate on a Local Area Network.

IP (Industrial Protocol):  The Internet Protocol is the most basic protocol. It simply moves a packet directly from one Ethernet device to another Ethernet device. Almost everything moves across the internet using IP.

TCP (Transport Control Protocol):  TCP is a protocol that creates a connection between two nodes over Ethernet. TCP maintains a connection and uses acknowledged messaging to transfer messages between two devices. That means that all TCP messages generate a reply. If there’s no reply, there’s an error.

OPC:  For old timers, OPC is OLE for Process Control.  OLE is Object Linking and Embedding.   These are Industry Standards for communication platforms so that end users and suppliers agree to exchange data in a specific format.  Now OPC is Open Platform Communications.  It is a Client / Server technology. One application acts as the server providing data and another application acts as the client using the data. OPC is a widely accepted industrial communication standard that enables the exchange of data between multi-vendor devices and control applications without any proprietary restrictions.  OPC has also grown beyond its original OLE implementation to include other data transportation technologies including XML, Microsoft’s  .NetFramework,  and even the OPC Foundation’s binary-encoded TCP format.

Kepware is the communication platform we have selected for OPC communications.  End user needs to purchase a copy of Kepware Runtime and download for some nominal fee like $100 for the system that is communicating with the Guardian (or transmitter).  This is only required when customer requests OPC communication.

DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange):  DDE is a method for exchanging information between applications running on Windows.  A simple example is exchanging data between Word and Excel.  All you really need to know is that it is a Windows based method to exchange data between applications.  It’s been working since Windows 2.0!

CIP (Common Industrial Protocol):  CIP is the basic component that forms the basis of EtherNet/IP. There are two parts to CIP, an Object/Attribute Library and a Messaging structure.  CIP devices use a very specific data model based on Objects (related collections of data) and Attributes (Data Identifiers).  CIP devices have a very specific set of messages that they support. There are Explicit Messages and Implicit Messages. Explicit messages are sporadic, one-time messages requesting data values or setting parameters. Implicit messages are ongoing I/O messages that are exchanged between two CIP devices.

EtherNet/IP is a very complex protocol but you can break it down into this; the Scanner (usually a PLC) exchanges data buffers with each Adapter. The Scanner sends Outputs to each Adapter device. Each Adapter device sends some Inputs back to the Scanner.  This is not our physical across the web scanner, it is the PC scanning the network.  The Adapter is our transmitter or Guardian.

Modbus is a serial communications protocol that allows multiple devices to be attached to the same network.  An example might be connecting a moisture transmitter and separate temperature transmitter to the same network.

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) is a system operating with coded signals over communication channels so as to provide control of remote equipment (using typically one communication channel per remote station). The control system may be combined with a data acquisition system by adding the use of coded signals over communication channels to acquire information about the status of the remote equipment for display or for recording functions

RS-485 is a Recommended Standard for local networks and multi-drop communications link that transmits data at 35Mbit/s at 10 meters and 100 kbits/s at 1200 meters.

HMI is a Human Machine Interface such as a PLC or a PC equipped with Wonderware or such.

Both EtherNet/IP and Modbus/TCP are Ethernet Application Layer protocols that use the TCP and IP protocols of the TCP/IP stack. They are both highly structured ways of moving data between automation devices in an industrial application.  The difference is in how data is represented to the network. EtherNet/IP represents data using the CIP object structure. Modbus TCP represents data as a series of registers (16-bit unsigned values).

 

Guardian System Communication as an Example

Our NIR (Near Infrared) Transmitter communicates to the Scanner Controller Board via RS-485 Modbus Protocol.  This is also how our transmitter communicates with the Operator Interface (OI). The Scanner Control Board communicates with the Guardian PC via Ethernet link using a Windows based Stand-Alone-System.

PSC Viewer Suite Software for the Guardian meets the needs of our customers.  Customers can get data on scan and zone averages for archiving.  Viewer Suite is not limited to just Ethernet.  It can use USB and serial links (RS232 and RS485 multi-drop) as well.

Viewer Suite Software is not limited to scanning frames. It can be connected to multiple sensors and scanning frames at the same time.   PSC Viewer Suite Software is smart.  If it’s connected to a transmitter only, it presents transmitter software.  If it’s connected to one or more scanners it automatically detects that and pulls up Guardian Viewer Suite Software.  It can also recognize when it is connected to a mix of scanners and static transmitters.

The Viewer Suite Software saves Zone /Average data to Excel, CSV, XML and to its built-in supplied industry standard SQLite database which is used for simple roll reports.   When an HMI is controlling the Guardian or advanced options are required OPC/Kepware and Modbus/TCP are available.