September 22, 2000

Paper Industries has developed an on-line surface fiber orientation meter

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.

Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.(NPI) and Yokogawa Electric Corporation were awarded the Sasaki Prize by Japan TAPPI on July 14, 2000. Each year, Japan TAPPI presents this prestigious award to the company which has exhibited outstanding leadership and service to the pulp and paper industries.
NPI developed a world-leading on-line fiber orientation meter in 1993, and has applied it successfully to quality control in manufacturing of plain copier paper at its Komatsushima Mill. Yokogawa Electric Corporation, licensed to practice the technique, has succeeded in commercializing the on-line fiber orientation meter for Quality Control Systems (QCS),and this has led to the present awarding of the Sasaki Prize.
The on-line fiber orientation meter measures fiber orientation on both the front and back side of paper running on the paper machine at high speed, and the feedback from the instrument is immediately used for operation control.
The principle behind this innovation is measuring the intensity of light reflected from the fiber sheet face via circumferentially arranged detectors, onto which incident laser light is vertically projected.
Fiber orientation indicates the fundamental structure of paper and is an important physical characteristic which determines its mechanical property and dimensional stability. It takes a great deal of time to obtain results from off-line fiber orientation measurements conducted after the paper roll has been wound, and it has been impossible to obtain information on fiber orientation on both paper surfaces at mills.
The performance of runability and handling in both printing and converting processes is one of the most important factors in terms of the quality of paper, and its improvement is always a challenging task for papermakers. The on-line measurement of fiber orientation has exceptional potential to solve the problems regarding out of register in color printing, paper jam induced by paper curl in copy machines and high speed printers, and instability of runability in web offset printing.
In producing plain copier paper, the on-line fiber orientation meter gives us a performance rating regarding curling property without actual copy tests. It can reduce the time for the optimization of paper making conditions. Moreover, it can continuously attain high quality products.
Three on-line fiber orientation meter sets have been already installed in two of our mills, and one more is to be installed in December 2000. It is expected to be introduced as the standard instrumentation equipment.