Fiber orientation measurements

Perhaps no aspect of paper is more closely scrutinized than runnability, the paper’s ability to move through converting equipment, press or copy machine. Poor runnability can cause you frustration, cost your time and lower your profits. So it is no surprise that market research indicates that most paper and paperboard makers rate runnability as their number one or number two concern.

Good runnability relies on correct fiber orientation
ABB continues its role as an industry pioneer with the introduction of the first true on-line fiber orientation sensor. Research preceding development of the sensor indicated that the greatest insight into runnability could be gained from measuring both sides of the sheet. Curl, twist warp, misregistration and other runnability problems are worse when fiber orientation on one side of the sheet differs from the other side. The Fiber Orientation Sensor continuously measures both sides of the product for the best insight into runnability. 

Papermakers utilizing the fiber orientation sensor finally will be able to link process cause and effect. Few papermakers have been able to develop precise procedures for full control of fiber orientation. When process changes are made, it may take an hour or more to get measurements back from the lab. In the meantime, the grade run may be nearly over or the process may have drifted. 

Subsequent changes are likely to produce erratic results. Fiber orientation measurement can yield a very quick payback. More production is achieved through faster grade changes. In some cases, raw material savings can be achieved by substituting less expensive fibers for stronger but more expensive fibers. The Fiber Orientation Sensor provides the confidence to make this substitution through its real-time fiber ratio measurement. Higher throughput is realized by reducing waste in winders, sheeters, or other mill converting operations. Savings are possible from reducing customer complaints in areas such as curl, twist warp and converting or press breaks. 

Good runnability is in great demand by end users in every segment of the paper industry. Given the considerable influence fiber orientation has on runnability, it is no surprise that on-line measurement is necessary for every papermaker. ABB delivers the solution that you will value for its economic return and the competitive advantage it gives you in the marketplace.


  • Allows ratiometric processing to reject common mode variables
  • Provides greater responsiveness to small changes in fiber ratio and fiber angle
  • Allows high resolution profile measurements  
  • A source and detector contained in each side of the sensor enables independent, dual-sided measurement
  • Wavelengths of infrared lasers are selected to deliver optimum penetration in cellulose fibers
  • Synchronization of top and bottom sensor halves eliminates optical crosstalk
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