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Wet-End Characterization wet end will provide machine operators with the

necessary feedback they need to make definitive

adjustments to the headbox [figure (a)] and hence
of Paper Web minimize the undesirable effects of formation
variations. In the long run, the industry can expect
significant advances in headbox design and control
as their researchers use this same capability to better
We are developing an intelligent, vision- understand and quantify headbox flow dynamics.
based apparatus for the paper industry that The wet-end characterization of the paper web
provides better control of the papermaking by our vision system involves a four-dimensional
process. measurement of the slurry (fiber and water mixture)
in real time. These measurements include the two-
The paper industry has had a long-standing need dimensional spatial information, intensity profile,
to better understand and robustly control its and depth profile of the slurry. To infer the pertinent
papermaking process upstream, specifically, in the web parameters from these measurements, the
forming section (also known as the wet end). We are system employs a suite of sophisticated image-
developing a unique state-of-the-art vision system processing and pattern recognition algorithms.
that automatically measures and interprets pertinent Automatically inferred parameters, such as
paper web parameters at the wet end. Unlike
ower Generation

homogeneity of the web and location and topography

currently available sensing systems that are intended of the web streaks, are then used to quantify paper
to operate downstream, our vision system provides formation characteristics or to monitor production
timely measurements of important web parameters at events (e.g., table activity and web breaks). One of
the crucial stage of paper formation. Having this the subsystems of this apparatus has been designed
capability can create both short-term and long-term and tested in a paper mill for on-line evaluation. The
changes in the paper industry and can dramatically overall system is expected to be completed by the

affect product quality and production yield. In the end of fiscal year 1999.
short term, the ability to characterize the web at the
Industrial Markets: Industrial Applications and P

(a) (b)


(d) (e)
The top two images depict the wet end of a paper machine, the headbox (a) and the press section (b).
Image (c) shows the subsystem deployed to capture high-quality, on-line images of the slurry; two such images
are shown at the bottom. Note the distinct structures present in the images, (d) water beads and (e) web streaks.

Contact: Hamed Sari-Sarraf
Phone: 865-574-5542
Fax: 865-574-6663
28 Instrumentation and Controls Division