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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Catch the Wave: New Roll Hardness Instruments Shipping

December 30, 2014, EIGHT new ACA Systems RoQ (Roll Hardness) instruments shipped to U.S. customers. Two more instruments should ship in early January 2015. These 10 instruments are part of the wave of new instruments for measuring roll hardness being introduced to the Americas by Technidyne.

The new RoQ has:
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Integrated touch screen
  • Displays real-time profile data
  • USB data output
  • Barcode reader
  • 1 mm profile resolution
With over 60 roll hardness units already installed in North America by Technidyne, and with many of the new RoQ units on order, Technidyne customers are catching the wave of cost savings associated with modern roll hardness technology.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Technidyne's 2014 Agent of the Year




It is with great excitement to announce Technidyne's 2014 Agent of the Year winner is Equipret in Colombia, South America.  


Omar Mosquera Cortes at Equipret was notified that he is the first winner of this award which will become an annual prize.






This is in recognition of Omar's dedication to his customers as well as Technidyne products and services. Each agent is evaluated equally against the following criteria:


- Account in good standing
- Overall sales revenue
- Overall service revenue
- Overall calibration standard revenue
- Ability and willingness to assist other agents/representatives, when possible
- Commitment to marketing Technidyne products including calibration standards
- Commitment to training
- Ability to independently support customers effectively



We recognize that Equipret has successfully sold equipment, provided service and calibration standards. Omar has also assisted Technidyne in nearby countries and with translating emails and other documents at times, too.  All of this makes Equipret a great example of what Technidyne is looking for as an agent.


As the 2014 Agent of the Year Award Winner, Equipret will receive:

  • a plaque/trophy,
  • a credit on their account, and
  • a free quarterly subscription of calibration standards for 2015.

Congratulations to Omar and good luck to all of Technidyne's Agents as they move forward into 2015.

Monday, December 22, 2014

How Are Brightness and Whiteness Related?



There has always been confusion about what brightness is in the paper industry. Constant questions arise about different versions of brightness including diffuse, directional, TAPPI, GE, ISO, D65… Many previous blog posts and two articles from Technidyne Corporation do a good job of explaining these differences. However, Whiteness has come into greater prominence in recent years as an optical measurement of paper quality. This brings up new questions like, ‘which measurement provides a better representation of visual observations?’ and ‘what is the relationship between brightness and whiteness?’.

Brightness
Brightness was originally defined in the 1930s as a measurement in the blue part of the visible spectrum defined originally by TAPPI Test Method T452 to monitor the bleaching cycle. Subsequently, it has been used to characterize paper optical properties outside of just bleaching.

Whiteness
Whiteness indices are a compromise between colorimetry and brightness measurement. Colorimetry is a cumbersome but complete three-dimensional description of whiteness, whereas brightness is simple to understand and convey but relates only to the blue portion of the visible spectrum. Whiteness indices have the advantage of being single number quantities that are based on the entire visible spectrum, however, they do reward purple and blue shades of white. This is done to correlate with visual observations of most people.  The chart below shows how brightness and whiteness each relies on a different subset of visible spectrum data.


Relationship Between Brightness and Whiteness
The most basic question in determining the relationship between brightness and whiteness is first, which brightness (directional/UV Level C, diffuse/UV Level C or diffuse UV Level D65) and which whiteness calculation do you want to compare? Literally hundreds of whiteness formulas have been published or applied in different fields over the last 70 years and under a variety of conditions. Just as an example there are whiteness formulas know as Berger, Stephansen, Stensby, Taube, Ganz, Hunter, Harrison, Judd, MacAdam, Croes, Friele, Coppock and Vaeck just to name a few. It is known that whatever whiteness formula is selected that it normally includes a value (Z, Rz, R460) in the blue part of the spectrum in the calculation. However, it is not the same value used in every formula, and, in fact, it is never the brightness value. The weighting of this factor is different in each case. 


So there is a relationship, however, there is no direct correlation between brightness and whiteness. A comparison of the two different indices would have to take into account variables such as geometry, UV level, illuminant/observer conditions, calibration methodology, chemical constituents in the paper and various grades of paper.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Neenah Paper Gets PROFILE/Plus Training

Four members of the Neenah Paper Company team have been in New Albany this week at Technidyne.

The Neenah Paper Company purchased a PROFILE/Plus automated testing system for each mill located in Neenah, WI and Stevens Point, WI.

Ken, David, Nathan and Matt were trained on the operation of the system and were assisted in setting up profiles for their existing product grade structure.

Each PROFILE/Plus automated testing system consists of:

* PROFILE/Plus System Controller
* PROFILE/Plus Caliper
* PROFILE/Plus Roughness & Porosity
* PROFILE/Plus Opacity

We perform a lot of customer and agent training at our facility on topics such as:
   * Calibration
   * Operation
   * Standards
   * Measurement Theory (optical, physical, surface, and process testing)
   * Application
   * Service

Our new Training Room was specifically designed for these activities. Let us know if we can help you with your training needs.

Monday, December 8, 2014

New Standards Format: TAPPI Brightness & Color

Old 1.5" X 2" TAPPI paper calibration tabs
In early 2015, Technidyne will introduce a new format for TAPPI brightness and color calibration standards. 

For over 50 years, TAPPI optical calibration has been performed using small 1.5 inch X 2 inch paper 'tabs'.  The new format will consist of a tablet which is easier to handle and will provide more consistent data since the measurements will come from the same sheet of paper. In past, it was possible that the tabs were each from a different sheet of paper.

The instructions will be:


1. Fold back protective sheet on the bottom of the pad.
 


 

2. Place the pad over the sample aperture.
 
3. Align the standard, matching the marks on the standard with the rectangle on the sample plate of the instrument.




4. Center the instrument light beam in the first circle, parallel to the long direction of the pad.

5. Place the 1 kg backing weight over the are to be measured.
 
6. Record the value.

7. Lift the pad and repeat steps 3 through 7 for each circle.

NOTE: Do not damage the surface being tested by dragging or sliding the standard across the instrument aperture.


Please let us know if you have comments or ideas on how these will be best implemented. Contact our Lab Manager, Nick Riggs.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Technidyne Christmas Lunch 2014

December 3, 2014, Technidyne had its annual Christmas lunch.  All employees were treated to a buffet lunch.  After lunch Todd Popson, CEO, recognized employees celebrating significant anniversaries as employees at Technidyne.
(L to R): Terry, Scott, Roger, Perry and Tim
There were five employees recognized:
  • 15 years - Scott
  • 20 years - Roger
  • 25 years - Terry
  • 30 years - Perry
  • 30 years - Tim
We are very proud of the fact that our average tenure is 17 years for all employees.  We have added five new employees during the course of 2014.

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, December 1, 2014

Improvements in Roll Hardness Measurement

Technidyne started selling roll hardness measurement equipment a couple of years ago.  The instrumentation provided much needed improvements over the Schmidt Hammer which was designed for concrete measurement, not paper hardness. However, our customers were asking for several additional improvements in this technology and measurement area.  The ACA Systems RoQ (roll hardness profiler) provides many advancements.


Improvements in Roll Hardness offered by the RoQ:
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Integrated touch screen
  • Displays real-time profile data
  • USB data output
  • Barcode reader
  • 1 mm profile resolution
With over 50 roll hardness units already installed in North America by Technidyne, and with many of the new RoQ units on order, Technidyne customers are experiencing the cost savings associated with modern technology.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Story from the Testing Lab: Can Opacity be sided?

YES


It is possible to achieve a measured opacity on one side of a sheet of paper which is different than the measured opacity on the other side of the same sheet.  Differences are usually very small e.g. 0.5% or less from one side to the other.  However, there are instances when the values could be as different as 2.0%.  This normally occurs in papers which are heavily coated only on one side.

The most commonly used methods for the measurement of opacity address this issue slightly differently:



TAPPI T 425, Opacity of paper (15/d geometry, illuminant A/2°, 89% reflectance backing and paper backing)
There is a note in the Procedure section that says, "Usually neither the side nor direction of the grain of the paper makes any significant difference. If either effect exceeds 0.2, report each side and/or direction separately."

TAPPI T 519, Diffuse opacity of paper (d/0 paper backing)
The method instructs measurements to be made on the felt side and then the wire side.  The report section says, "If the measured opacity from each side differs by 0.5% or more, report the opacity for each side separately."

ISO 2471, Paper and board - Determination of opacity (paper backing) - Diffuse reflectance method
The procedure actually includes directions to measure both sides.  There are instructions to "Calculate the mean opacity for each side and the standard deviation.  If the differences between the two means are greater than 0,2%, the sides should be identified and the results reported separately.  If the difference is equal to or less than 0,2%, the overall average shall be reported."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Training Facility

Our new training room at Technidyne has been getting a lot of use since its completion earlier this year.  Technidyne employee training and customer training is performed in this newly created space.

EMPLOYEE TRAINING 
In August, Ilka Mustonen from ACA Systems led a training session on the new RoQ (roll hardness) as well as the Permi (on-line porosity) and ACAV A2 & A4 (coating and pigment runnability).  In October, Alex Gruner from Emtec and AFG did a training session on their products including the TSA (tissue softness), CAS (charge analyzer), FPA (fiber potential) and DFA (dynamic filtration).

CUSTOMER TRAINING
In December, we have customers from Neenah Paper receiving training on their new PROFILE/Plus automated testing system.

Technidyne is exploring new opportunities to offer training to customers and agents. Let us know if you have ideas via email.

Thanks to Leslie Lewis & Associates and Upton Pry for making this a great facility.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Story from the Testing Lab: Routine Maintenance

It only takes one quality claim or customer return to pay for years worth of routine maintenance on your laboratory or on-line instrumentation.

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.   

How often do you have routine maintenance done on your car? Most manufacturers recommend that
you change your oil and rotate your tires every 5,000 miles. If you are like me, you stretch that into 7,000 miles.

How often do you have routine maintenance done on your lab or on-line instrumentation? If you have your instruments checked once a year, that amounts to maintenance after 326,509 miles of paper have been made (on a machine running at 1000 meters/minute). Even if you have routine maintenance every quarter, that amounts to maintenance after over 75,000 miles of paper have been produced.


It only takes one quality claim or customer return to pay for years worth of routine maintenance on your laboratory or on-line instrumentation.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Technidyne Thanksgiving Lunch

Pitch-in Lunch
Thanksgiving isn't for 2 weeks in the US, however, we celebrated today at Technidyne. It was a fun time filled with great food, camaraderie, games and laughter.  Thanks to the Technidyne staff for making everyone enjoy working together.  Here are some photos of the fun.


Bill unveiling his BINGO prize
Lance studying the board trying to decide which ornament represents each employee









Monday, November 10, 2014

A Story from the Test Lab: Calibration & Maintenance Frequency

Let's say a mill has 2 paper machines that use the same test lab. Each machine has a turn up every 30 minutes.  Each turn up requires that a given property be measured manually at 2 locations across the machine. At each location only 1 measurement is made due to time constraints. If the value is very far off specification it will be retested. All of this occurs every day, month and year.  The instrument normally only goes through a complete primary calibration procedure once a month.  Therefore, there are 4,320 manual tests performed per month (between primary calibrations). If Preventative Maintenance service personnel visits one time per year, there are 51,840 manual tests between routine maintenance visits.

If automated testing equipment is being used, the system is programmed to make 10 measurements across the test strip.  This means 21,600 automated tests are performed per month (between primary calibrations).  That means if service personnel visits only one time per year, there are 259,200 automated tests between routine maintenance visits.

In this example, there are 5 times more tests between primary calibrations and between Preventative Maintenance visitsIt is unrealistic to think that even equipment designed for MORE usage is going to require 5 times LESS routine maintenance.  Even if Preventative Maintenance were increased to four times per year, we would be expecting the equipment to perform for a longer period of time between tune-ups based on the number of measurements.

If you increase the volume of testing with automated testing (or through some other means) consider increasing the frequency of checking calibration and scheduled routing Preventative Maintenance.

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Story from the Testing Lab: What is 100% on the ISO Brightness Scale?

Liquid-cooled Zeiss Elrepho
The original diffuse brightness tester, the Zeiss Elrepho, was introduced in 1953 by Carl Zeiss Company of Oberkochen, West Germany. The Elrepho (ELectro-REcording PHOtometer) with its integrating sphere (diffuse) geometry originally used magnesium oxide as the basis for the 100% brightness point just like the GE Brightness Instrument (directional geometry, TAPPI T452). This was chosen since it was the 'whitest' substance available at the time. Since magnesium oxide was very unstable and yellows over a relatively short period of time the basis for setting the 100% brightness point was changed from the reflectance of magnesium oxide to absolute reflectance which is a more theoretical 100% point in the mid-1960's.  This scale change caused all brightness readings to go down i.e. a pulp previously measured at 60% brightness might now read 58.5%.

Measurement on Color Touch
In the early 1970's, a gloss trap was included in the integrating sphere to exclude the specular gloss component.  The insertion of a gloss trap is an attempt to minimize the effect of surface reflectance, leaving only intrinsic brightness to be measured.  Brightness values may be lower by up to 2% due to the inclusion of a gloss trap.

These changes which occurred over a decade resulted in brightness values for the ISO Brightness instrument scale to go down over 2%.  Since that time ISO has developed a more rigorous process for maintaining this absolute reflectance 100% brightness calibration point. This 100% point is considered the perfectly reflecting diffuser.  Standardizing Laboratories transfer this calibration from the perfectly reflecting diffuser to the Authorized Laboratories.  Then Authorized Laboratories transfer this calibration to end-users of the instruments via paper standards which are issued on a monthly or quarterly subscription basis to allow brightness tester users to maintain close agreement with the perfectly reflecting diffuser.

ISO Standard 2469, which was based on the Zeiss Elrepho, was adopted by ISO in 1973.  TAPPI T525 is identical to ISO 2469 and ISO 2470-1 (ISO Brightness). Subsequently, brightness testers conforming to ISO 2469 have been manufactured by Datacolor, AutoElrepho, Minolta and Technidyne Corporation.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nominations Needed: TAPPI Top 20 Under 30 Award

The purpose of the TAPPI Young Professionals Division’s Top 20 Under 30 Award is to recognize and award the top emerging leaders in the paper, packaging, and related industries. The winners will be announced in the 100 Year Paper360 Issue in spring of 2015 and individually celebrated throughout the year as a way to commemorate TAPPI’s 100 Year Celebration.

Nomination Submission Deadline: December 1, 2014
Top 20 Under 30 Winners Announced: 100 Year Paper360 Issue in spring of 2015.




Submit nominations to TAPPI or Todd Popson.


Winners will be invited to attend their division specific TAPPI conference during 2015 to receive their award. Winners will also be celebrated throughout 2015 through TAPPI’s various publications and online.

TAPPI Mission Statement
TAPPI fosters the vitality of the global forest products, pulp, paper, tissue, packaging and associated industries by delivering unsurpassed technical knowledge, valuable networks, and professional growth for our members.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Story from the Testing Lab: What is 100% on the TAPPI Brightness Scale?

The first paper brightness tester utilizing directional geometry, the GE Reflection Meter, was developed and introduced to the Pulp and Paper Industry in the early 1930's.  Because of the difficulty of producing instrument which agreed with each other within the limits of visual discrimination, the Institute of Paper Chemistry (Appleton, WI) established a "Brightness Standardization System" whereby all newly manufactured brightness testers were matched geometrically, photometrically and spectrally to a master instrument. 

The basis for the 100% brightness point was magnesium oxide. This was chosen since it was the 'whitest' substance available at the time. Since magnesium oxide was very unstable and yellows over a relatively short period of time, more stable opal glass and paper standards were used to transfer this calibration from magnesium oxide to the instruments.  Therefore, calibrated opal glass and paper standards were issued on a monthly subscription basis to allow brightness tester users to maintain close agreement with the IPC master.

TAPPI Test Method T452, which was based on the GE Reflection Meter, was adopted by TAPPI in 1948.  Subsequently, brightness testers conforming to TAPPI T452 have been manufactured by Martin Sweets Company, Diano Corporation and Technidyne Corporation.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Meet Service Technician: Rodney Gay

Rodney Gay has joined Technidyne as a Service Technician.  Rodney is an Army veteran.  He received his BAS in Computer Science and worked for IdentiSys for 13 years as a senior Customer Engineer in the ID solutions and access control systems field.

As a member of the Technidyne Service Team, Rodney provides phone support, does instrument repairs and performs preventative maintenance for customers in the United States. 

If you have any questions about Technidyne's services, calibration standards or testing service, feel free to contact Rodney directly at rodneyg@technidyne.com.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Story from the Testing Lab: Preventative Maintenance

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.  PM is normally performed during a scheduled trip which includes multiple customers who can then share these 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.

Contact our Service Department for more information on the most economical approach to maintaining your equipment.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Agent for Mexico Updates Training

Saul Calderon of INASII S.A. DE C.V. (INGENIERA ASESORIA Y SERVICIOS DE INSTRUMENTACION IDUSTRIAL), Technidyne's exclusive sales and service agent in Mexico, was in for updated training this week.

Mr. Calderon received the latest training techniques on classic Technidyne instruments like the Micro S-5, Color Touch 2, Color Touch PC.  He also received information and training on many new products that will be released to the Pulp and Paper Industry in the coming months.

Technidyne and INASII have worked together for a number of years.  INASII also represents IGT, Testprint, AVS, emtec and AFG instrumentation.  They also provide service and preventative maintenance on a variety of other equipment including Lorentzen & Wettre.

CERRO DEL CHIQUIHUITE No. 15-1
COL. LOMAS DE COACALCO
COACALCO, EDO. DE MEX. C.P. 55736

Via telephone at 5882-7597.

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Story from the Testing Lab: Calibration Standards

Many years ago we received a typical phone call from a customer that was struggling to get their 10-year-old brightness tester to calibrate. We talked them through the calibration procedure. They seemed to understand the steps and process. They calibrated, check linearity and translucency. When they went to check the calibration it was not right. We talked them through diagnostics looking at lamp voltage. They had a spare lamp. So, they installed it and refocused the new lamp. Calibration was still off. Finally, they checked the different voltages on the instrument, but this did not give us the solution to the calibration problem.  Throughout all of this, the customer insisted that we needed to visit the site and get this rectified.

We scheduled the trip and sent a technician to the site. They were armed with all sorts of tools, parts, calibration standards and strategies to allow them to attack this problem instrument head on.  Upon arriving at the facility, the technician sat with the instrument and read the set of calibration standards they had brought with them. The calibration was even farther off than the customer had indicated.  The technician calibrated the instrument with the new standards and checked the calibration for linearity and translucency. The instrument was in perfect calibration.

After this was completed the technician asked the customer to see the calibration standards they had been using. The customer went to a drawer in the testing lab and removed a set of paper calibration standards from an envelope. She explained that they had carefully cared for the standards since they came with the instrument OVER 10 YEARS AGO.

It was obvious to the technician that the paper calibration standards had yellowed and become frayed over the 10 years of use. Those calibration standards were no longer usable.

The Paper Industry has a unique, but extremely reliable calibration process and hierarchy. This is based on using paper calibration standards as a transfer standard from the Master instruments. However, since the standards are paper, they will age and require replacement on occasion. The life of the standards is based on how well the standards are maintained (see TAPPI T 1219 Storage of paper samples for optical measurements and color matching). Subscriptions are available on a monthly or quarterly basis.