Manufacturers of every industry have a need to follow tight production controls and quality demands. Dispatching a worker to obtain samples of in-process material and finished goods that are then sent for lab measurement may help inform the process. However, a faster and more reliable method is necessary for modern production schedules. A web gauging system will provide real-time results and accuracy that manufacturers need to meet production and cost goals.
What is a Web Gauging System?
Web gauging systems are used to measure and control products that are manufactured using a continuous web process. Manufacturers in a variety of industries use them to ensure that products are made not only in a uniform and reliable way, but also with the most efficient use of materials. Measurements can be made using weight or thickness, depending on what is being measured and how it is being applied.
How Web Gauging Systems Work
The sensor technologies used in a web gauging system include beta, infrared, optical, terahertz, nuclear, and x-ray. Which sensor to use is based on the type of material, the web structure, the process, and what is being measured (i.e., moisture content, basis weight, or thickness).
Control technologies fall into three types. Automatic profile control (APC) is used for automatic extrusion dies and uses high-resolution profile measurements and die-mapping algorithms to continuously align the measurement zones. Machine direction control (MD) compares thickness or basis weights to an average and uses the difference to calculate a new setpoint for line speed or screw/pump speed while optimizing the throughput rate for productivity and quality. Calender control is used for rubber, vinyl, and adhesive calendaring to deliver fast, reliable performance, raw material conservation, faster startups, and minimizing scraps.
How This Technology Saves Money
The average payback period when investing in a web gauging system is approximately one year. These systems help cut costs for manufacturers from three angles. The first is by delivering an increase in the quality of final products. With fewer defects, manufacturers will enjoy less waste and fewer returns, which also results in happier customers.
The next way a gauging system will cut costs is by increasing production rates. By reducing startup and changeover times, machines can run for longer periods and increase output rates. Plus, an increase in efficiency by boosting machine utilization and yield of salable products also delivers higher productions.
Lastly, a web gauging system will help cut the costs of the materials needed. By reducing edge trim, out of spec products, startup waste, and disposal costs through more precise application, manufacturers can get more from the materials needed to create a product.
Choosing the Right System
A web gauging system can be assembled in a variety of configurations. Determining the best setup for your production lines means understanding the available technology while also having deep insight into production methods. The gauging systems team at Quad Plus comes with years of experience in both machine and process knowledge, which allows them to make the right recommendations for the optimal configuration of web gauging systems. To learn more about finding the right solution for you, contact the experts at Quad Plus.