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Monday, December 31, 2012

Recent Standards Committee Activities

TAPPI issues a Standards & TIPS Action Report (STAR) on a regular basis to keep industry personnel up to speed with activities in various committees and organizations.

TAPPI STAR - December 2012

Some highlights include:
  • Announcement of TAPPI Standards in Ballot
  • TAPPI Standards coming up for review
  • Announcements:
    • Technical Experts Needed for New TAPPI Standard - Recycling of Aqueous Coatings
    • Seeking experts for two ISO TC 6 Groups
      • Measurement and Characterization of Nanocellulose
      • Automated Testing
    • Process and Product Quality Division is Seeking Officers
    • TAPPI Standards Approved as American National Standards
ISO Technical Committee 6 (pulp, paper and paperboard) met in October 2012 at FPInnovations in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  Most of the working groups met including WG 3 (Optical Properties), WG 27 (Tissue) and two ad-hoc committees discussing in-line testing and off-line, automated testing.

Technidyne is actively involved in organizations such as TAPPI, ISO and PAPTAC to ensure there are meaningful and usable standards for us in the Paper Industry.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Training Ideas

Technidyne began offering training opportunities to customers from the beginning. The optical properties seminars were started by founder, Jerry Popson, in 1974.  These training sessions included topics, including: calibration, brightness and opacity.  They were offered at no charge to the attendee. They were performed in hotels convenient to customer concentrations in the United States. Over the years training sessions have been offered in North America in locations such as Appleton (WI), Macon (GA), Seattle (WA), Philadelphia (PA), Dayton (OH), Portland (OR), Nanaimo (BC), Toronto (ON), Montreal (QC) and Thunder Bay (ON).  Sessions have been performed on-site at customer locations around the world, and now may be customized to cover properties ranging from optical to physical, surface, fiber and process control.  Training sessions have ranged from 1 to 120 people and have lasted from 2 to 7 hours.  We estimate that we have reached around 5,000 Paper Industry professionals over the years.

Which one makes the most sense for your organization?
  • On-site at customer location
  • At Technidyne Corporation, New Albany, IN, USA
  • Live streaming over the internet
  • Podcast (available for listening/viewing anytime)
  • Textbook
  • Training application for your digital device
Technidyne...for good measure. Visit us at

Monday, December 10, 2012

Technidyne's Christmas Lunch

December 6, 2012, Technidyne had its annual Christmas lunch.  All employees were treated to a buffet lunch.  After lunch CEO, Todd Popson, recognized four employees who celebrated anniversaries at Technidyne.
Each of the four employees was celebrating a significant anniversary of working at full-time at Technidyne.
  • 10 years - Laurie
  • 15 years - Cindy
  • 25 years - David & Mike
We are very proud of the fact that our average tenure is 17 years for all employees.  Several employees (Laurie and Cindy included) who at one time or another left for various reasons have returned to a great US-based, family owned company.

It takes time and effort to find the right people, but when we do they stay for a long time and contribute to our DNA: Technidyne's passion for customer satisfaction drives us to be the best in the world at developing economical and creative solutions.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Technidyne Services Emtec Equipment

Emtec & AFG are sister companies founded in Germany to develop paper testing technology.
  • Emtec - tissue softness, printability, glueability, coating color, dimensional stability, ball burst, deposit monitoring
  • AFG - particle charge and zeta potential measurement devices
Since 2009, Technidyne has been the exclusive sales and service agent for Emtec/AFG in the United States and Canada.  Technidyne can add your Emtec and/or AFG equipment to your normal Preventative Maintenance schedule.

Below is just an example of some of the products serviced by Technidyne in cooperation with Emtec/AFG. 

TSA Tissue Softness Analyzer
Multifunctional Measuring Instrument to assess the Softness, Elasticity and Compressibility of Tissue and Fabrics as well as the Ball Burst Strength, Thickness and Grammage
  • Measurement of the softness, elasticity and compressibility of tissue and fabrics as well as the ball burst strength, thickness and grammage
  • Assessment of the two-sidedness regarding softness of tissue paper
  • Area of Use:
    • production control
    • product optimization
    • comparison of products
    • R&D
    • selection/incoming control of pulp/fibers (hand sheet measurement
CAS Charge Analysing System  

cas.pngThe CAS particle charge measurement system takes traditional methods of measuring streaming potential and establishes a new era of technology and comfort in particle charge analysis.  Using industry accepted techniques of titration CAS determines cationic/anionic and acid/base demands of aqueous charge systems.  Both streaming potential (mV) and pH are measured simultaneously.  This makes it easy to determine isoelectric and flocculation points of a sample.  The integrated titrator also eliminates the need for hand titrations, saves time and increases accuracy. This is essential in busy labs and situations where the consumption rate is very low.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Technidyne Services Techpap Equipment

Techpap is a commercial company founded by the French Research Center for Pulp & Paper (CTP) to market Laboratory equipments and on-line sensors
  • Techpap has now more than 20 years of experience producing & selling equipments around the world for the Pulp & Paper Quality monitoring and Process optimization
  • Techpap can rely on the expertise and leading research groups of those 2 Institutes : CTP & INPG-PAGORA located in Grenoble France
Since 2010, Technidyne has been the exclusive sales and service agent for Techpap in the United States and Canada.  Technidyne can add your Techpap equipment to your normal Preventative Maintenance schedule. Also, Technidyne has been factory-trained at Techpap in Grenoble, France to be able to perform service and provide parts directly in North America.

Below is just an example of some of the products serviced by Technidyne in cooperation with Techpap. 

The MorFi Compact (pulp morphology) is specifically designed for intensive laboratory use and provides a complete interface for the treated data display. This slimmed down version of the MorFi Lab unit offers identical optics & flow cell measurement characteristics to ensure a blockage free process control as well as measurement accuracy. MorFi is able to detect:
  - Fibers
  - Fines
  - Shives
  - Vessels 

The 2D Lab Formation Sensor is based on the 2D Online Formation Tester using the same optics, electronics and results algorithm.

A CCD camera takes look-through images of a sample backlit by a stroboscope. The intensity of the light is regulated by the computer to obtain a constant homogeneous tone as well as a constant grey level average of the image. By automatically controlling the light intensity, formation of sheets with varying basis weights, colors or opacities can be compared. 

The basis weight range is very large, from 5 g/m2, tissue, non woven, printing and writing, up to testliner, virgin board (even dyed) over 600 g/m2. The system can also be used for white paper over 1000 g/m2.

The Kheops (mottle) is a laboratory sensor designed to easily provide accurate and repeatable evaluations on

 - Quality of offset impressions, print mottle, and the quality of coating application.
 - Paper, Board or other flat material surface roughness.
 - White top board quality evaluation.

The Simpatic 2IP (on-line dirt) is the result of 15+ years of experience in deinking and pulp cleanliness research dedicated to the development of instruments to create solutions in this area. The Simpatic 2IP is the perfect tool for online dirt detection, is simple to install, easy to use and perfectly representative of the process contamination.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Preventative Maintenance Pays Off (Part 2)

Technidyne has offered Preventative Maintenance (PM) on its instruments since 1985.  This is similar to routine maintenance on your car to make sure it runs well and for years to come.  During a PM visit the instrument 'current' state is checked, the instrument has routine maintenance performed (cleaning, checking voltages, etc.). Finally, the instrument is calibrated and rechecked for its 'as left' data.  Also, during PM visits general maintenance questions can be asked and features can be demonstrated. 

A customer skipped their annual PM visit which made them a non active PM customer.  Six months later a primary instrument went down on Saturday morning with no backup instrument on-site.  Active PM Customers receive loaner equipment at no charge.  Since they were no longer an active PM customer they had to rent the loaner and pay a higher repair costs.  Also, PM customers get reduced rates on parts and labor for repairs.  By skipping this one visit ended up costing this customer an additional $4,500 for the loaner and repair.   

By skipping the normal PM, this customer paid for the repair and loaner.  The additional cost would have paid for PM on all of their instruments that year and could have prevented the failure which cost them even more time and money.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why Measure ERIC at 950 nm and NOT 700 nm?

ERIC (Effective Residual Ink Concentration) at 950 nm was introduced through "Measuring the Concentration of Residual Ink in Recycled Newsprint" in the June 1994 edition of the Journal of Pulp and Paper Science.  The authors Jordan (Paprican) and Popson (Technidyne) point out that at 950 nm "the lignin and dye have a negligible contribution and the ink dominates the spectrum."  

It would have been easier, even for Jordan and Popson to use 700 nm or some other reflectance point in the visible spectrum (400-700 nm). However, they point out that in the 1000 nm range, "The absorption is almost entirely from the ink.  The absporption coefficient of the paper is only about 0.2 m2/kg and the absorption coefficient of the ink is ten to one hundred times that great" You can see this in Figure 10, below.  It is in this range that the measurement gives a clear picture and reliable information.

Also, they point out the added complication of different dyes in wastepaper. "We have measured many dyed papers and have not found interferences in the 950 to 1000 nm range with the exception of black art paper. For example, Fig. 14 shows the reflectance spectra of two coloured fine papers with strong absorption up to 700 nm, but with negligible absorption at 950 nm." (below)

There are many instruments and research papers attempting to use 700 nm as the measurement point for residual ink, however, there is no research that shows this as an acceptable replacement for the accurate measurement at 950 nm.  Keep in mind at 700 nm other constituents (bleach, dye, lignin) still contribute toward the absorption.  Inaccurate estimation of the absorption in the measurement of residual ink will lead to poor conclusions. This will not adequately characterized the bleaching, deinking and other processes and how to use them most efficiently. The best ROI will not be achieved if the measurement is not done correctly.

There are existing standards: ISO 22754, TAPPI T567 and PAPTAC E.8 which have been in existence for years. They all use the 950 nm measurements.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Update: Study on UVB for Optical Testing

Many optical tests are performed using the D65 (outdoor daylight) source condition.  Within instrumentation this is done by using a pulsed xenon lamp. 

The long-held thought was that only the relative quantity of UV energy was important, not where the UV energy was coming from (UVA: 315-400 nm, UVB: 280-315 nm). Therefore, in the calibration of optical instruments there is a UV-trim filter which is adjusted in and out to achieve the desired UV level to simulate D65.

One issue is that a xenon lamp has energy in the UVB below 300 nm which the theoretical D65 does not have (see above). The ISO TC6 (pulp, paper and board) WG3 (optical properties) has undertaken two studies so far to better emulate the theoretical D65.  

The first study in 2011 involved 5 instruments all of the same manufacture but different age.  Ten (10) different papers were used of different UV excitation.  There were three different UVB cutoff filters used to see which one best approximated D65 and provided reasonable repeatability and reproducibility.  These results showed that instruments that had a filter cutting UVB excitation would not underestimate whiteness and brightness values for papers containing fluorescent whitening agents that have low excitation in the UVB.

The second study in 2012 involved 6 instruments (2 each from 3 different manufacturers) and different age.  Twelve (12) different papers were used of different UV excitation.  Only one specific UVB cutoff filter was used.  The intention was to see if the results of the 2011 study could be replicated over a much wider sampling of instruments.  The results showed instrument-dependent and sample-dependent trends for the measurement of ISO Brightness and D65 Tint.  However, the second study showed no clear evidence of improved inter-instrument agreement.

Even though the concept of cutting off UVB energy to better approximate D65 UV Level has been shown to affect the results of ISO Brightness, D65 Whiteness and D65 Tint, there still needs to be more work to eliminate variables in the process in order to provide consistent results and improved inter-instrument agreement of different make and model.  ISO TC6 WG3 is investigating options for another study to improve the reproduction of D65 and at the same time to produce the same or better inter-instrument agreement.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Preventative Maintenance Pays Off

Technidyne has offered Preventative Maintenance (PM) on its instruments since 1985.  This is similar to routine maintenance on your car to make sure it runs well and for years to come.  During a PM visit the instrument 'current' state is checked, the instrument has routine maintenance performed (cleaning, checking voltages, etc.). Finally, the instrument is calibrated and rechecked for its 'as left' data.  Also, during PM visits general maintenance questions can be asked and features can be demonstrated.   

Technidyne responded to a recent Service Call.  The Service Call cost the customer US$3,751 more than a normal PM would have cost.  The cost was substantially more because additional costs such as labor, airfare, hotel, rental car and training are borne only by one customer. PM is normally performed during a scheduled trip which includes multiple customers who can then share these costs.   

Instead of accepting the normal PM, this customer has paid for Service Calls each of the last two years.  the additional cost could have paid for 9 additional PM visits.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Service is a Key Component of Technidyne's DNA

One of our service technicians took a call from a customer located in the Midwestern United States a few days ago. The customer was inquiring about the price of a consumable item. While our technician was looking up the price, the customer offered some kind words.

The customer said he "Loves" his Technidyne equipment for several reasons:
*  First, the two Service Technicians that have visited him (he mentioned them by name) 
       were the most professional and knowledgeable of all the Technicians that have visited
       when compared to any other venders.
*  Secondly, the four pieces of equipment (19 years old) he has from Technidyne are  
       extremely reliable.
*  Finally, if anything goes wrong he can call for assistance in repairing minor issues. The
       Technicians are always friendly, patient and knowledgeable.

This is one of those times that makes you really proud of the folks you work with. The team effort that goes into building or providing a product/service for this customer is spot on.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

ISO OPAL Meeting Canada 2012

Members of the OPAL (L-R): Byron Jordan (Chair TC6), Todd Popson (Technidyne), Joanne Zwinkles (Chair WG3), Sylvie Moreau-Tabiche (CTP), Kari Niemi (Labtium), Li Yang (Innventia) and Lyne Cormier (FPInnovations) [not pictured: Jon Saatvedt (Technidyne)]
The ISO OPAL (Optical Properties Authorized Laboratory) group met in Pointe Claire (a suburb of Montreal), Quebec, Canada October 11 & 12, 2012 at FPInnovations.  This group is comprised of organizations which have been approved to provide optical calibration standards for ISO Standard 2469 conforming instruments.  The group meets in person at least every 18 months to review data and comparisons among each other. Also, procedures, issues and techniques are discussed with the group.  The Chairperson of ISO TC 6 (Technical Committee on paper, pulp and paperboard) WG3 (Working Group on optical properties) leads the discussion.  The group does share readings, data and concerns on an ongoing basis as well.  Current members include:

  * Technidyne Corporation (USA)
  * FPInnovations (Canada)
  * Innventia (Sweden)
  * Labtium (Finland)
  * CTP (France)

This coming week the full WG3 will meet to discuss existing and future work items at FPInnovations.

Monday, October 8, 2012

ERIC 950™ Used with Inkjet Nonimpact Digital Printing

Jefferey Hsieh, Professor and Director of Pulp and Paper Engineering at Georgia Tech, published the article,  "Deinking of inkjet digital nonimpact printing", in the September 2012 issue of TAPPI Journal.  The cover prominently displays a Color Touch ERIC 950as a part of the equipment used to perform the research of Hsieh.

His conclusions:
"Preliminary experiments were conducted on samples of inkjet nonimpact digital printing papers to evaluate the efficiency of a conventional flotation deinking process in detaching pigmented inkjet submicron-size particles from the fiber surface and network. A Denver D-12 laboratory flotation cell was used per INGEDE Method 11 to test 100% ONP. ISO brightness of 58 was obtained, an improvement considered to be recyclable. However, the conventional floatation process only cleaned the inkjet-printed ONP to 47 ISO brightness. The addition of nonionic surfactant for better pulping improved the ISO brightness to 50 using the same flotation procedure. Electric field technology [12] was then applied for further improvement to obtain ISO brightness of 52.5 with conventional flotation—still 5.5 points short of the targeted ISO 58 goal for recycling [13]. The reasons for this final improvement are that more surface area is available per unit volume and the hydrolyzed hydrogen or oxygen gas molecules are more likely to collide and collect the ink particles [13] for rising to the top of the flotation chamber for skimming. The 52.5 ISO brightness is the best that can be achieved with currently available flotation technologies."