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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Corrugating Industry Moisture Control

Especially in Food Industry Packaging Applications with Custom Coatings!

The Corrugation Process requires the single face and double facer to match moistures to minimize warpage.  Historically when corrugated board warped, small companies would just have employees flip it over until humidity leveled it out.  Not scientific but functional and at the time economically effective to create good board if time and order delivery allowed.  The increasing demand for corrugated packaging is driving efficiencies.

Times have changed with industry consolidation, importance of short delivery times and need for high quality flat board for folding operations.

Process SensorsMCT460 is a stand-alone Near Infrared Moisture and/or Coating Analyzer.  The Guardian Cross Direction Web Profile System supplies alarms, archiving and much more.  The screen display easily shows the web profile in bright green, yellow and red for in-spec, alert and alarm conditions.

Process Sensors can supply solutions for warpage and coating measurements.  Water based wax coatings can be measured on the wet end at the moisture peak of 1.94µ or on the dry end at the 2.34µ hydrocarbon peak.  Ethernet outputs, Kepware OPC, Modbus TCP allow easy communication for moisture control systems.  Steam Re-Moisturizers, Liquid Application Systems and Sprayers can benefit from moisture and coating measurements to optimize process control.

Additionally, our Process Sensors IR Division can supply all of your Product Temperature and Thermal Imaging needs.  PSC IR excels at understanding and meeting your immediate need through an international network of specialists.

SenWare can supply all your On-Line, Lab and Portable Color Measurement Needs.  Their specialty is in determining if you need full tri-color stimuli that they offer in all formats such as L*a*b*; L,a,b;  RGB etc.  or a simpler version for your needs.  Contact SenWare to discuss your color measurement needs.

We work with leading Re-Moisturizer, Coating and Dryer Suppliers.  Please contact us at:  508.473-9901 to discuss your needs!

 

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Lane Adhesive Measurement Made Easy

Adhesive lane thickness and moisture measurement across a paper or film web continues to increase with food and other packaging demands.  Instead of coating an entire web for label stock, these applications only coat narrow lanes of adhesive spaced across the web.

Process Sensors has developed a system that is quickly becoming the industry standard for spaced lane adhesive thickness and substrate moisture measurement.  The Guardian Lane Measurement System allows operators to monitor each adhesive lane across the web.

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The Scanning Frame System automatically detects web edges and stores lane locations from the edge to make measurements.  The Near Infrared (NIR) transmitter can measure the coating on the wet end at the 1.94µ water peak or on the dry end at the 2.34µ hydrocarbon peak.  The unique elongated and rectangular angled viewing area for measurement insures accurate measurement on even very narrow stripe/lane widths.

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This Lane Measurement Profile System reduces start up time and scrap.  After start up, systems normally run through and process measurement is less needed unless in closed loop control.  Many small to medium sized companies benefit from these reasonable priced measurement systems but find that after start up and achieving set point, operators don’t always pay attention to profile.  To meet this need, many incorporate Stack Alarms that trigger when any zone goes out of specification to alarm and cause the operator to view the profile and take corrective action (clean or replace a valve, increase actuator pressure, change water disk speed, adjust skew on LAS, etc.).

Data and Roll Reports can be saved and archived for QC and QA needs.

 

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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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Aimcal Conference

SHAPING THE FUTURE!

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AIMCAL Web Coating & Handling Conference will be held October 25-28 at the Naples Grande Beach Resort in Florida.  Process Sensors is an active participant in Aimcal and we look forward to meeting our many friends and customers at the conference.  The congenial spirit and technical interactions help us learn from our customers and continue our strong support after sale tradition.

Please visit us at Booth #7 in the Royal Palm Ballroom!

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.

ICE USA Orlando 2015 – Booth 943

February 10-12, 2015
OCCC, Orlando, Florida

 

Join several thousand converting professionals from nearly 50 countries who will come together in Orlando, Florida, February 10-12, 2015, to see all the latest converting machinery and technologies on display from over 350 leading suppliers. The key decision makers from a wide range of companies that convert and process flexible, web-based materials will come together seeking innovative solutions to their specific challenges.

Process Sensors Corp. will be showing our Guardian System Series of Web Profile Systems featuring our multiple scanner and transmitter PC based system, our stand alone scanning system with Operator Interface (OI) and our economically priced starter system.  We will also have our stand alone MCT460 Near IR Transmitter.

Our MCT Series of Process Near IR transmitters can measure moisture, wet end water based coatings, dry end organic coatings, hot melt thickness, film thickness, residual moisture and web temperature.  Our lab and at-line QuikCheck can measure moisture and coat weight off line.

Please visit us to discuss your application needs during the ICE Show Orlando at Booth 943!

 

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Benefits of Measuring Your Hot Melt Coating Thickness Cross Direction Web Profile

Speeding up the start-up process, reducing scrap and rejected material, archiving data against claims and improving QC/QA are among the many benefits of measuring your hot melt thickness web profile with a NIR Transmitter and Guardian Scanning Profile System.

Whether you operate doctor blades, die bolts or other hot melt applicators, a uniform web profile is important to you and your customers.  Often times the system is started up and stopped while a sample is sent to the lab for analysis.  After receiving the results, the applicator is adjusted and started up only to be stopped for another sample and analysis to confirm correction.  Sometimes the adjustment over compensates and the process repeats itself.  With a web profiler, the machine can be adjusted while running and the results immediately seen on the hot melt profile display.  A trend chart and plot below illustrates the hot melt process in adjusting the applicator to meet a 1.4 mils target set point.  Red is alarm out of specification, yellow is alert getting out of specification and green is good at a set point of 1.4 +/- 0.1 mils hot melt thickness.

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Hot Melt Measurements With Guardian Options

hot-melt-adhesivesHot Melt Measurements are typically measured with Near Infrared (NIR) transmitters that provide a digital display in engineering units, analog outputs and a digital interface.  The NIR non-contacting Hot Melt measurement is extremely accurate and stable with no regulatory requirements.  The measurement can be fixed point or scan across the web to provide a cross direction web profile.

The Guardian Web Profile System provides a Cross Direction profile on a large flat panel LCD in an economical and attractive enclosure. The Guardian is fully automated with product recipes for scan speed, zone average, and data logging digital outputs. This is a complete system with automatic web edge detection to provide the highest value performance to cost ratio. The system can supply CD Web Profiles and MD Trends for hot melt thickness, residual moisture and temperature. Multiple measurements can be displayed on a single large display screen.

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The Entry Level Profile System provides a simple and inexpensive automatic scanning frame with a 12” Operator Inteface (OI) for profile display and controls mounted on the frame end.  The Simple Cross Direction Scanning System with Digital Display allows for automatic scanning or jogging to fixed position for machine direction measurement and display on a 5.7” touch screen.

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Choose Your Guardian!

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