Why Moisture & Coat Weight Measurement is Crucial in Converting Operations

Moisture is important in any manufacturing process, in the converting industry, controlling product moisture levels is critical to the manufacturing process. Moisture content has a drastic effect on quality and can lead to problems with warping, glue adhesion, and printability. Measuring the moisture at linear, medium, and face locations will yield significant improvements to the finished product. Additionally, online measurements of coating thickness are very important on webs during the manufacturing process allowing users to eliminate waste, reduce energy usage and produce quality products within specification 100% of the time.

Measuring coat weights is also important factor during paper converting for the precise control of films, water-based adhesives, resins and hot melt glue applications. Polyethylene, polypropylene and other coatings such as PVC can also be measured and controlled to a high degree of accuracy.

Benefits of moisture measurement and control:

  • Improved product quality
  • Reduce dryer usage and energy costs
  • Reduction of scrap
  • Increased productivity
  • Consistency of your final product
  • 100% product inspection

Near Infrared Technology and Converting Applications

Although the discovery of Near-Infrared (NIR) is attributed to William Herschel in the late 19th century, the first industrial application was not until the 1950s. NIR spectroscopy and imaging are fast and nondestructive analytical techniques that provide chemical and physical information of virtually any matrix. NIR can tell us things about a product in a similar way to visible light. When light hits a product, it will interact in various ways. Transmitted light will pass through the product while backscattered light will reflect from the product. Light will also be absorbed by the product. Absorption is the key to the most effective moisture measurement analysis technique.

Having the precise moisture levels of paper products in converting operations, newsprint, tissue and corrugated liner pulp has become a critical component during production. Paper can easily become either too wet or too dry wasting manufacturers time or money. The ability to measure the moisture levels as well as water and solvent based coatings and coat weight thicknesses during the paper/converting process, improves manufactures product quality and increases productivity within substantial cost savings.

MoistTech is very experienced with the requirements in the paper/converting process. Our state-of-the-art NIR is ideal for all converting application needs. For ease of use, our sensor calibrations, measurement wavelengths, algorithms and sensor optical requirements are pre-set at the factory. Typical moisture accuracy is about ±0.05%, coating accuracy varies from 0.1 to 0.01 micron depending on coating type. Typical analog range is 0-10% moisture and up to as much as 40%, subject to application.

When creating products that include glues or adhesives, it is important to maintain product consistency in order to achieve the best quality results. In order to do so, you need accurate, reliable product testing technology. Our moisture sensor provides instant, non-contact readings, but the IR-3000 also takes accurate readings of temperature, chemical composition, and water-based coatings. It is ideally suited to measure glue and adhesive thickness.

A Crucial Aspect

Immediate ROI is seen with the installation of a moisture measurement system as the plant controllers can instantaneously notice the reduced waste, energy usage and overall increase in product quality.

When looking at moisture measurement systems, be sure to evaluate features that will be most beneficial to your operation. The best ones to look for are:

  • One-time calibration: Pre-calibrating the sensor to be ready to read your specific application
  • Multiple applications can be read: The moisture measurement system can remember up to 50 different applications and measurements so you can easily switch back and forth to allow the machine to acknowledge a new product is being read.
  • Immediate results: The sensor produces hundreds of readings per second to allow the user to have immediate access to the product moisture content, allowing for increased or decreased dryer control.
  • All equipment included: Everything needed to operate the sensor is included and the software can be installed on an unlimited number of devices, allowing for better access throughout the process.
  • State-of-the-art technology: Continually researched and updated technology allows for the most accurate results in the moisture measurement industry.
  • 30-day performance guarantee: See results or send it back—plain and simple.
  • Installation: Ideal for installations on chain and screw conveyors.