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New machine vision techniques that will change how you see paper quality

Automatically classify paper rolls based on customer requirements before they reach the winder. Find the root causes of formation, wrinkle and dirt defects and take action to avoid downtime. These are only a few of the possibilities created by the new real-time web inspection methods from ABB.

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Different types of paper require different quality assurance

Different paper grades mean different quality specifications to meet your end-customer’s goals. For example, fine paper or paper board require uniformity across the web to ensure good printability. If linerboard and liquid packaging contain wrinkles, it’s challenging to print on - color may run or print quality will be poor in addition to the potential leak.  Visible dirt in pulp, paper and paperboard leads to its downgrading, as it significantly reduces the quality of end products.  Holes, spots, and dirt particles are examples of typical defects, while wrinkles, streaks, and slime spots are examples of subtle and low contrast defects.  It’s all a matter of matching the design, print technique, budget, deadline, intended use and customer expectations to the right quality measurements and control.

Different ways to evaluate pulp, paper or paperboard products

In many cases, the quality evaluation of the product has been based on lab measurements and/or partial online measurement results, which are based on only small portions of the product area. Many pulp and paper manufacturers have started using machine vision, available through integrated web inspection systems, to automatically detect defects and other undesired abnormalities—it’s faster, more objective, and works continuously over the entire web.


But if only partial measurements are used, this can cause significant amounts of good quality product to be downgraded.

Machine vision is getting smarter, faster and more effective

Integration of machine vision techniques is key to provide a robust and scalable solution. Our industry-leading Web Imaging System (WIS) and Web Monitoring System (WMS) fully integrates with ABB’s quality and automation control solutions to monitor, detect and analyze defects across the full web. The specialized, highspeed, FPGA-based processing components of the WIS smart cameras enable instantaneous detection and classification of defects while also reducing the needless loading of system resources.

This can bring huge savings, allowing pulp and paper manufacturers to:

  • Monitor the overall quality factors of a product online
  • React immediately to improve the product manufacturing process
  • Certify quality based on actual results instead of assumptions from a small portion of the web
  • Classify the manufactured product areas based on specific customer requirements

Newly developed web inspection methods

ABB has developed cost-effective methods for analyzing specific product defects in real-time while covering the measurement of the whole product area.

The latest ABB Web Imaging System feature prevents misleading results by providing complete measurement of paper uniformity. Effectively measuring full web formation in real time reduces unscheduled downtime. 

More complete information allows fine paper and paperboard producers to make better and faster decisions.

> Ensure full formation coverage

ABB’s unique system detects, classifies and statistically quantifies wrinkle information across the sheet in real time - without overloading the data processing system. This helps linerboard and liquid packaging producers remediate issues with moisture retention as well as reveals the impact of inefficient headboxes on product quality.

By improving process management and enabling excellent laboratory correlation, the amount of rejects will be considerably reduced.

> Capture your most important issues


Web Imaging Dirt Count detects and counts the amount of dirt on 100 percent of the sheet in real time and feeds the data directly into the ABB automation system. Not only can corrective action be taken earlier, but quality measurement becomes more accurate, leading to less downgraded paper.

Plus, papermakers can make baby rolls and drive higher profit potential.

> Reduce downgrades and rejects



About ABB’s Web Imaging System platform

40+ years of superior web inspection solutions for the pulp and paper industry

Did you know ABB's automatic braking system (ABS) can precisely slow/stop the winder at selected defects to minimize errors?

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