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AI-based machine vision tools prove their value for papermakers

Already in 2016, the IBS Paper Performance Group acquired the machine vision specialist Papertech based in Vancouver, Canada. Since then, significant progress has been made. With IBS Papertech GmbH, based in Austria, customers in Europe are now served directly from Austria and Germany. Production, assembly, commissioning, and servicing of the camera systems are carried out directly from there. However, the most notable achievement has been in the area of research and development. The intensive cooperation between the dewatering specialists from IBS and the machine vision experts from Papertech made it possible to develop unique and revolutionary camera-based solutions. The new products within the TotalVision family of products represent a significant advancement in optimizing board, pulp and paper machines.


Stock activity monitoring

One of the main advantages of fourdrinier machines is the ability to visually monitor the sheet forming process. Key visual indicators (KVI) allow papermakers to quickly identify process upsets and adjust sheet quality before it gets to the reel. With TableVision®, cameras track the stock activity on the table, and an image analysis software assigns an activity index to each dewatering element. This provides a real-time profile of stock activity - from the forming board to the wet line.


View formation along the paper machine

The size and uniformity of the flocs in the sheet determine the overall sheet formation. FlocVision® measures and trends sheet formation along the paper machine. The system can consist of multiple camera locations along the machine, allowing operators to examine and measure formation. The integration into the TotalVision software allows operators to view formation and other monitoring and inspection views, directly from the operator station.


Wet line monitoring

Continuous dewatering along the forming table of Fourdrinier machines creates a line where the transition of the stock suspension from wet to dry can be observed: the wet line. LineVision® gives papermakers the tools to operate a machine with the wet line at the right spot! This is essential to achieve the highest paper quality and runnability. If the wet line reaches the combining roll, where two plies meet, it can adversely impact paper quality (bonding of the plies strength, etc.). On the other hand, running the wet line too close to the headbox will reduce paper quality due to the reduced sheet forming area.  


Jet cut-through monitoring

Traditionally, papermakers visually observe the jet cut-through by physically approaching the machine and adjusting the headbox or manually moving the forming board to achieve the desired cut-through. This approach is heavily dependent on user skill level and attentiveness, and adjustments must be followed locally at the forming board. JetVision® continuously monitors the jet cut-through by mounting a camera on the machine frame. It provides the operator with a view through the TotalVision software interface.


These are just a few examples of the new possibilities offered by TotalVision solutions. The tools based on neural networks achieve great results, the new AI based Web Inspection System demonstrates a new level of sustainability and stability in segmenting and classifying defects of the paper.



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