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How Continuous Thickness Measurement Improves Production Quality

October 4, 2020

What is an Online Thickness Gauge?

Automated production processes have allowed companies to manufacture items at high speeds and with fewer interventions from operators. Ensuring that a product’s quality remains within tolerance limits and that waste and defects are minimal requires a similarly automated quality inspection process.

An online thickness gauge is an ideal method for process control as it delivers not only speed, but also a high degree of accuracy. An online gauge is always scanning, as opposed to manual spot measurements with a handheld scanner or a lab sample. Non-contact displacement sensor methods are the optimal choices as no contact with materials are required allowing for the fastest speeds and fast adaptations to different materials or surface types being measured.

Why You Should Use an Online Thickness Measurement System?

By moving to an online thickness measurement system, manufacturers can achieve real-time assessment of the quality of products as they move through the line. This allows for faster corrections and adjustments, which decreases batch waste of an entire product run, reduces energy waste when machines are operating and not producing saleable product, and increases throughput by consistently monitoring for issues that interrupt production.

One advantage of a non-contact measurement process is that the system will not compromise the integrity of the product while the measurements are conducted. This makes it ideal for measuring coating systems and a soft or easily damaged product such as foam without generating waste or interrupting production, and for achieving a high degree of accuracy using standard timing techniques.

Another benefit is the ability to utilize sampling measurements. This reduces the complexity of sensor placements as paired probes are unnecessary, individual sensor-drift and sensor spot misalignment will not cause problems, and paired sensor synchronization is not required.

Industry-Specific Inline Thickness Measurements

For manufacturers working in metal, plastic, and rubber, measuring strips, plates, films, and sheets is a critical quality control factor. Continuous measurement processes allow the manufacturer to adjust the thickness profile parameters to maintain acceptable tolerance limits.

Plastic Extrusion Sheet Thickness

Measuring plastic sheet extrusion thickness will improve adherence to quality specifications as well as demonstrate compliance with regulatory standards. Measurements will also document line performance to enhance process control and boost productivity rates while reducing scrap and waste.

Converting Film Thickness

Dry film thickness is a critical measurement due to its impact on the process of coating as well as the quality and cost of the product. Dry film thickness can be used to determine the expected lifespan of the coating, the appearance and performance of the product, and to demonstrate compliance with industry standards.

Coating Film Thickness Sensor

Coating film thickness sensors are an essential tool when working with metallic surfaces during anodizing, galvanizing, and zinc application processes. It can also be used to measure paint thickness.

Steel and Aluminum Rolling Thickness Control

Maintaining the proper material thickness during the rolling process for steel and aluminum will deliver the high quality standards necessary to ensure that finished products meet the mechanical and structural properties needed for the final product while ensuring that the metals will not deteriorate during the high-speed rolling process.

Rubber Thickness Measurement

Rubber manufacturers rely on thickness measurements to ensure the consistency of the final product while also reducing waste and identifying and minimizing defects. Non-contact rubber thickness measurement processes are critical during the calendaring and processing procedures when product’s surface tends to be shiny and black, preventing optical sensors from gauging thickness effectively.

Paper Thickness Measurement Sensor

Paper thickness is a key parameter for manufacturers as it affects the quality and cost of finished products. Controlling thickness will ensure batch consistency and ensure that finished products have the correct tactile feel while reducing waste that can be generated when products are only a few microns out of tolerance.

Improved Control, Improved Outcomes

Production defects cause waste and consume expensive resources, including raw material, energy, and labor. They also have a very real impact on your bottom line. An online thickness measurement system allows manufacturers to identify and correct defects in real-time to increase output yields without serious interruptions or extended downtime. Non-contact measurement systems are less complicated to install and utilize, making them the right choice for manufacturers in every industry, from rubber and plastics to paper and sheet metal.