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Article: World Tobacco

Roll alignment for converting and printing is now fast, cost-effective, and precise technological development yields extremely high resolution for measuring smaller nips

Sensing area is very compact for high resolution measurement, Mini Sigma-Nip positioned on a roller set, and transmitting to a laptop, provides real-time nip analysis

For converting and printing, Sensor Products Inc has introduced Mini Sigma-Nip®, an electronic nip analysis system which measures roller profiles and diagnoses roll alignment with speed, cost-effectiveness, and accuracy. The technology for Mini Sigma-Nip® is derived from Sigma-Nip®, which characterizes roller profiles for larger rolls. Mini Sigma-Nip®, which measures nip widths of rolls with circumferences smaller than 20” (51cm), can also diagnose and measure larger hard rolls that have narrow contact upon closing.

In Mini Sigma-Nip®, the 168 microscopic sensor points that comprise each finger are densely packed within a 3.3” (8.4cm) active sensing area. The sensors capture data and record nip width readings while being viewed on a laptop or computer that has been connected through wireless or USB. Adjustments to load are made in real time while the sensors are in the closed, (non-rotating) nip. Problems with alignment, skewing, and crown deficiencies are quickly exposed.

Mini Sigma-Nip® has been designed for maximum versatility; the system is portable and, depending on the number of sensors ordered, the same sensor chain can be used to measure different sized rolls. The system is extremely useful for continuous maintenance, as well as during equipment setup and shutdown. Data that has been stored can be easily reviewed. Web control is improved as evenly loaded roller sets are much less likely to cause web breaks and costly downtime. Uneven material pulling, sheet walking, wrinkles, jams and print mis-registration are greatly reduced.

Among its various features, the software includes a Comparison Mode, where up to three nip width readings can be viewed simultaneously, and an Alignment Tool, which instantly draws a line to indicate nip width variations. Minimal computer knowledge or training is needed since the system prompts the user through the few steps needed for installation and setup.

Headquartered in New Jersey and established in 1990, Sensor Products Inc is a world leader in the manufacture and distribution of tactile pressure sensing solutions. Its customized and off-the-shelf products are installed within all of the Fortune 500 industrial companies as well as thousands of smaller manufacturing firms. Its sensors are used in applications as diverse as tire testing to semiconductor manufacturing and from R&D labs to space missions. Additionally, Sensor Products provides in-house and on-site stress and pressure mapping analysis, as well as a variety of regional technical seminars.