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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."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Presentation on Stickies Control in Tissue

This presentation will be in conjunction with Session 6: Stickies and Contaminants on Monday, October 15 from 1:30 - 3:00 PM at the Marriott Savannah Riverfront.  The session will be led by Garnet Bremner of Nalco.

At the upcoming TAPPI PEERS 2012 Conference in Savannah, GA, Michele Ricard from FPInnovations will present "Online Analysis of Macrostickies in a Sorted Office Waste Recycling Plant Making Fibre for Tissue", Monday, October 15th. This will give explicit information on how the FPAutoSpeck can be used to measure and control stickies.

Technidyne will have additional information on the FPAutoSpeck, FPMonitAir (entrained air), Color Touch (color, brightness, ERIC 950) and PROFILE/Plus (automated quality testing) in Booth #16 at the PEERS Trade Fair.

Links:       TAPPI PEERS 2012