Ensuring paper quality – web monitoring and inspection on a high-speed paper coating line

AMETEK Surface Vision has delivered a reliable, comprehensive state-of-the-art solution for early defect detection and classification on a major paper manufacturer’s premium paper coating line, increasing productivity and winder throughput.

Mitsubishi HiTec Paper Europe GmbH is a paper manufacturer based in Bielefeld, Germany. Known for high-quality products, it is part of the Japanese company Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd, and produces coated inkjet, thermal, carbonless, label and barrier papers.

The Bielefeld site operates two paper machines, three coating machines, and seven winders. The premium coating machine, designated SM3, is the most productive coating line at the plant, used for the coating of thermal paper for different applications, so defects need to be detected as early as possible.

The coated paper produced by the SM3 line has to meet the quality standards demanded by customers. The existing web inspection system was aging and no longer able to meet Mitsubishi’s increased requirements, and so had to be replaced with a state-of-the-art web inspection solution that delivered the best available results.

Marco Saitta, Sales Account Manager at AMETEK Surface Vision, said: “Over the years, Mitsubishi assessed the best service and support to be delivered by AMETEK Surface Vision directly. They also found our inspection systems were the easiest to use and provided the most accurate results in terms of defect detection and classification.”

The AMETEK Surface Vision solution

To provide the highest-quality solution for SM3, AMETEK Surface Vision supplied the company’s SmartView and SmartAdvisor® inspection systems, which offers a complete and integrated set of web inspection and web monitoring tools on the same machine.

SmartView is AMETEK Surface Vision’s versatile, modular system for the detection, monitoring and reporting of surface defects on a range of products. It combines powerful software, linescan camera technology, high-intensity lighting and industry-leading engineering to deliver a trusted, automatic solution.

SmartAdvisor is an easy-to-use, reliable video monitoring and process analysis solution for continuous production lines. Using high-speed video and camera synchronization technology, it boosts machine efficiency, finds defects and detects process upsets from startup.

These products can also be coupled together in a comprehensive Smart System configuration. This allows synchronization of the final quality camera images with the over-the-line, distributed process monitoring cameras, so final defects can be traced through the line, identifying the root cause of the defect.

The Smart System is supported by the Advanced Winder Advisor (AWA), a precision marking solution developed specifically for SmartView systems operating in the paper industry.

Axel Kümper, Mitsubishi’s Production Manager for SM3, said: “We have found the AWA to be a very impressive tool, because it stops within a maximum of 10 centimetres from the defect. While there are other solutions available, this has proven to be the most effective one for identifying defect locations for easy removal or patching.”

Meeting customer requirements

Mitsubishi HiTec Paper Europe Gmbh reported excellent results from using the new system on SM3.

Axel Kümper said: “With this new system, we are able to meet the highly demanding quality requirements of the thermal paper market, delivering defect-free material to our customers.”