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Monday, August 31, 2015

What is TSI area and how is it used?

Most are familiar with the "peanut" ellipse the is produced from ultrasonic fiber orientation measurement devices. It is a numerical approximation used to transform the data into a polar diagram.  The area of this polar angle plot is the TSIArea .

With a well adjusted head box, the TSIArea is used to measure the influence of a change in jet-wire speed difference or pressure changes in the head box.

When comparing TSIArea in one running condition to another, a fiber quality index can be used to more easily explain the reason for the change.  Ideally, the operator of the device will enter the TSIArea(target) value based on statistically relevant measurements and the goals of the operation. When the sample is measured, both the TSIArea(measured) and the "fiber quality index" (ratio shown below) are displayed.

____________________________________       = fiber quality index   [no units, expressed as a decimal]


If you have experience using TSIArea, please share it here.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Popson Named Chairman of ISO U.S. TAG

Upon the recent passing of Prof. John Walkinshaw, Todd Popson, CEO & President of Technidyne Corporation has been named the new Chairman of the United States Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for ISO TC 6.  Mr. Popson has been a member of the US TAG since 2002. He has been active in Working Group 3 (optical properties), WG 7 (cores for reels of paper), WG 10 (automated testing), WG 25 (surface roughness), and WG 27 (tissue test methods). 

ISO TC 6 (paper, board and pulps) is responsible for standardization in the field of paper, board and pulps and cellulosic nanomaterials (CNM), including terminology, sampling procedures, test methods, product and quality specifications, and the establishment and maintenance of appropriate calibration systems.  The U.S. TAG is responsible for developing the United States position on proposed new work items and the review of existing work items. There are 178 published ISO Standards related to this TC. There are 28 participating countries and 31 observing countries to ISO TC 6.

The next meeting of ISO TC 6 will be in June 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden.  The U.S. TAG for ISO TC 6 will meet in October in association with the TAPPI CorrExpo in Louisville, KY.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What is the difference between gloss and haze?

There are three basic forms of reflection: specular, diffuse and mixed.

Specular Reflection

Specular reflection is when all of the light incident at a certain angle is reflected at the equal but opposite angle. In other words, the light coming in at 75° is reflected at the opposite 75°.

Diffuse Reflection

Diffuse reflection is when all of the light incident at a certain angle is evenly reflected at all possible angles (diffusely).

Mixed Reflection

Mixed reflection is a combination of specular and diffuse reflection.  The incident light has some measurable specular reflection, however there is still some diffuse component.

The following figure illustrates the relationship between specular reflectance and diffuse reflectance from low, medium and high gloss materials.  A light beam striking a low gloss sample will be diffused by the paper and reflect in all directions.  A sample with a high gloss surface will diffuse some of the incident light energy, however, much of the light will be reflected in mirror-like fashion which produces a "blip" on the curve at the specular angle, as shown.  A glossmeter will view the specular portion of the reflected light while excluding as much as possible of the diffuse reflectance.

High quality surfaces are expected to have a clear and brilliant appearance. Microstructures, e.g. poor dispersion, can cause a milky appearance.  The effect is described as milkiness or haze.  A high gloss surface with microscopic texture has diffused light with low intensity adjacent to the main direction of reflection.  The majority of the incident light is reflected in the specular direction (gloss) which makes the surface appear highly glossy with image forming qualities, but with a milky haziness on top of it. 

When gloss is measured, a certain aperture is used to capture the specular reflection. Haze is the reflection close the specular angle, but excluding the specular reflection (see below).

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Local Support in the Midsouth US

We are pleased to introduce, Jason Scurlock, as our new Midsouth Service Technician.

Jason will provide field service and Preventative Maintenance activities as well as assist in installations and demonstrations of new Technidyne products.  He lives in this area and will be able to respond more quickly to customers.

Prior to joining Technidyne, Jason worked for Raytheon for 6 years.  While with Raytheon he worked in the close combat weapons systems division. His duties included troubleshooting, repair and installation, along with preventative maintenance of the TOW Missile systems. In this position he spent a couple years in Kuwait. 

Jason was born and raised in Texarkana, TX. He has an associates degree from High-Tech Institute in Electronics Engineering.  He attended college in Phoenix, AZ.

Jason will be the primary service contact for Technidyne customers in: AL, AR, LA, MS, OK, TN, TX.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Passing the Torch: John Walkinshaw

John W. Walkinshaw, professor of Chemical Engineering & Paper Engineering at University of Massachusetts - Lowell, passed away August 11, 2015.

John was unmistakably recognizable with his mutton chop sideburns, well-worn brown boots, suspenders, and rolled up sleeves on his shirt - this signified he was ready for action.  However, the type of action John reveled in was either teaching a Chemical Engineering class at the Lowell, MA campus or discussing and debating the merits of different test methods for pulp, paper and board.

Prof. Walkinshaw's educational background was solid, as seen here:
ISO TC6 Meeting - Paris 2011
  B.S. Paper Engineering, Lowell Technological Institute, 1967
  M.S. Paper Engineering, Lowell Technological Institute, 1969
  M.S. Chemical Engineering, Lowell Technological Institute, 1970
  Ph.D. Victoria University of Manchester, England, 1978

He was a Professor and Program Coordinator for Paper Engineering. His research interests were in air flow measurement systems coupled with computers to characterize the smoothness and porosity of paper and paper board materials and non-woven materials; plus an interest in paper recycling.  This isn't the type of dinner-time conversation that brings flocks of followers and invitations to speak at university functions. However, this seemingly grumpy individual possessed a treasure trove of knowledge when it came to the history of testing methods and standards related to the Paper Industry. 

PATPAC Meeting - Campbell River, BC 2000
Once you were on his radar, he could easily explain the history of different tests, their inception, changes that occurred, and why these changes were made. He would also give you the unfiltered version of how these things evolved, whether motivated by geographic politics (Europe vs. North America) or sound technical considerations.

John was a tireless volunteer in this respect. He was involved in ISO, TAPPI, ASTM, PAPTAC and other standards organizations. He selflessly volunteered to review many standards when no one else would do so. He was a great asset in this regard including being Chairman of the U.S. TAG (Technical Advisory Group) to ISO TC 6 (pulp, paper and paperboard).

TAPPI Fellows Award 2013
Some of his students may not miss snarky remarks and tough tests, but those of us who worked with him over the years will miss so many of his eccentricities, funny comments, appreciation of a nice ale, technical prowess and sheer knowledge in the area of testing related to the Paper Industry.

Farewell, John will be missed!

John Walkinshaw funeral arrangements

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Local Service Worldwide

Last week was the 2015 International Sales Meeting at Technidyne Corporation headquarters in New Albany, Indiana.  This week many of the agents from around the world stayed to get Certified Advanced Service Capability.  This advanced, hands-on training ensures that Technidyne customers worldwide have local service capability. 
Agents getting more hands-on training with FPAutoSpeck
Technidyne agents that have Certified Advanced Service Capability are capable of performing routine preventative maintenance, including:
  • Complete instrument calibration. This means full verification of operation including checking linearity, zero, spectral, and agreement with standards.
  • Replacement of normal wear parts such as lamps and air filters.
  • Repair and/or replacement of defective parts. Technicians carry a supply of parts to repair most service problems encountered in the field.
  • Cleaning of optics.
  • Checking power supply and each electronic component for stability and integrity.
  • Performance of minor upgrades and modifications as needed.
This also means the agent is capable of performing repairs in their exclusive territory and they are capable of providing these service in other countries in the region, if necessary.   

Monday, August 10, 2015

Technidyne 2015 Sales Meeting - Day 5

On Day 5, breakfast was hosted by our Engineering and Finance Departments.  All of the Engineering and Finance employees were introduced and an overview of current R&D projects was reviewed.

The agents received more hands-on time with the TEST/Plus™.  The requirements and benefits of Technidyne's Advanced Service Capability Program were reviewed.

The FPMonitAir was then introduced, including: software improvements, applications, installation and a demonstration.  Finally, Technidyne's web presence and resources were reviewed. and social media were discussed to outline the resources available and opportunities.

The week was wrapped up with a tour and dinner at the Evan Williams Experience in downtown Louisville. This recounts the history of bourbon and the city of Louisville.

Technidyne 2015 Sales Meeting - Day 4

On Day 4, breakfast was hosted by our Production Department.  All of the lab technicians were introduced and an overview of Production's responsibilities was reviewed.

The agents received more hands-on time with the Color Touch™ X.

The TEST/Plus™ product line was then introduced, including: concept, simple design, Android tablet, Apps and Activation.  Details about software functions, calibration, diagnostics, Apps and activation process surrounding the TEST/Plus™ Gloss and TEST/Plus™ Thickness were introduced.  The agents were then asked for input on what additional devices should be offered in the TEST/Plus™ package.

Laboratory Automation Remains Popular

Companies have been automating the production facilities in different ways for decades. In the Paper Industry, automation of the testing lab did not really become popular until the 1980's with the Kajaani Robotest and the Lorentzen & Wettre Autoline.  Since that time, automating the lab has become much more common. In the 1990's and 2000's, as mills reduced head-counts in an effort to lower labor costs and to drive efficiency in the laboratory, automation moved into non-commodity grades and became more prevalent.

Automation does provide two significant benefits to many mills:

  1. More testing data in a shorter period of time over manual testing
  2. More accurate testing because it eliminates the possibility of the manual tester selecting data points that meet target 
One other perceived benefit, is the reduction in the number of people involved in testing. This can take two forms: 1) reduced personnel, or 2) reassignment of personnel to other, higher-value tasks.

In any event, laboratory automation is here to stay. In recent months, there have been a number of PROFILE/Plus test systems installed in the US, including:
  • BASF, Charlotte, NC
  • Boise, Deridder,  LA
  • Boise, Jackson, AL
  • Burrows Paper, Pickens, MS
  • Domtar, Nekoosa, WI
  • GP, Camas, WA
  • Mohawk Paper, Cohoes, NY
  • Neenah Paper, Stevens Pointe, WI
  • Neenah Paper, Neenah, WI
  • Tama Paperboard, Tama, IA
  • West Linn Paper, West Linn, OR

Let us know how automation has effected your facility for the better (or for the worse).

Friday, August 7, 2015

Technidyne 2015 Sales Meeting - Day 3

On Day 3, breakfast was hosted by our Lab Department.  All of the lab technicians were introduced and an overview of the Lab's responsibilities was reviewed.

As a carry-over from Day 2, the agents received more hands-on time with the FPAutoSpeck™, including data analysis and mill installation exercises.  

The afternoon started with a discussion of PROFILE/Plus™ laboratory testing automation.  There was a review of many of the successes of the PROFILE/Plus™ in North America.  The user interface was also discussed in detail.

The group wrapped up the day by racing go-karts. The event culminated with a final heat involving the best racers from each of the 7 teams.  Trophies were awarded to the three top competitors:
  • 1st Place: Tommy (IDM Instruments - Australia)
  • 2nd Place: Stefan (emtec electronics - Germany)
  • 3rd Place: Lance (Contract Instrumentation Services - New Zealand)

Technidyne 2015 Sales Meeting - Day 2

On Day 2, breakfast was hosted by our Service Department.  All of the customer service employees were introduced and Technidyne's service philosophy was reviewed.
James introducing the Service personnel
The agents were then introduced to the FPAutoSpeck (stickies measurement): components, features, capabilities, data, calibration and diagnostics.  Also, installation considerations and requirements were discussed and service/maintenance requirements reviewed. A live demonstration including video feeds was conducted.
Robert explaining the FPAutoSpeck

Technidyne 2015 Sales Meeting - Day 1

The 2015 Technidyne International Sales Meeting kicked off Monday morning with CEO, Todd Popson, explaining the company's history, direction and focus.  Then, VP-Sales & Marketing, Tom Crawford, explained Technidyne's global strategy.
Tom reviewing Technidyne's global strategy
The agents (from 5 continents) were then introduced to the Color Touch X: features, calibration, diagnostics and accessories. In addition, they each had time to get hands-on the new equipment.

The evening wrapped up with a reception and dinner which included the presentation of the 2014 Agent of the Year Award to Equipret (Omar) in Colombia.
Omar receiving his 2014 Agent of the Year Award from Todd