Coating pilot plant uses Vishay Systems web tension controls

Western Michigan University to upgrade coating pilot plant line with Vishay web tension measurement and control technology for greater stability in varying temperatures.


The Western Michigan University (WMU) Coating Pilot Plant is using Vishay Intertechnology Inc.'s web tension measurement system. The pilot plant, located in Kalamazoo, MI, is said to be a leading research center for papermaking, coating, printing, and recycling.

Western Michigan University paper coating pilot plant uses Vishay systems.

Western Michigan University paper coating pilot plant uses Vishay systems.

Vishay Systems Web Tension measurement system was upgraded in spring 2009, and performance trials have showed dramatic improvement in tension measurement stability with varying temperatures, Vishay said in an Oct. 20 statement. The upgraded system precisely measures the sheet web tension between the coater backing rolls and the chill-roll S-wrap.

WMU approached Vishay because its existing web tension measurement system suffered from temperature induced drift, which resulted in complete loss of web tension control. The loss of control resulted in web breaks, which resulted in costly down-time. Vishay model HTK web tension transducers were chosen, Vishay said, because of excellent temperature performance and stainless steel construction, suited for use in harsh environments.

Vishay Systems also supplied the signal conditioning electronics that interface the transducers to the machine PLC controller for automatic feedback control of web tension. The Vishay Systems technology also will enable the pilot plant to process extremely light weight substrates, which was not possible with the previous web tension system.

Western Michigan University's Coating Pilot Plant provides paper manufacturers with the opportunity to perform research in an unbiased and confidential facility, WMU said. Paper mills, suppliers, and process equipment makers from around the world run trials there to develop and screen coating formulations, base stocks, or combined finished-coated products; solve run ability issues; and improve equipment designs. The cost-effectiveness of running trials on a pilot scale to optimize products under development is a great advantage for industry research and development. For most applications, the machine conditions at WMU mimic the conditions in a mill and therefore can be scaled up and go directly into production.

Vishay Systems manufactures, installs, and services systems for weighing and force measurement and control. These include systems with transducers and instruments to control process weighing in food, chemical, and pharmaceutical plants; force measurement systems to control web tension in paper mills, roller force in steel mills, and cable tension in winch controls; on-board weighing systems that are installed in logging and waste-handling trucks; and special scale systems for aircraft weighing and portable truck weighing. Vishay Systems is a division of Vishay Measurements Group, which develops, manufactures, and markets components, instruments, and systems for a wide variety of test and measurement applications.

Other paper-industry announcements from Control Engineering include:

- Georgia paper mill installs machine drives system ;

- ABB deploys new systems at two pulp & paper producers in China .

Also see the Control Engineering sensors page .

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering ,

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