PanelProfiler – In-line thickness measurement system for panels

The PanelProfiler is a non-contact laser based system for in-line measuring of panel thickness. It is suitable for all type of panel products such as MDF, OSB, chipboard, hardboard, plywood, rigid foam, HPL, fiber cement and others. Installations can be done in press lines, sanders and various finishing lines, with the version of measurement frame adapted to the size of the production line. Being non-contact reduces maintenance costs, ensures dependable, accurate, measurements also of softer materials and at high production speeds. There will not be any degrading with dirt or scratch marks on the final products as with older types of mechanical contact rollers measurement systems.

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PanelProfiler

Basic Specification

Thickness range, standard0,1-150 mm (0.004-5,9”) (thicker optional)
Width range10-5.000 mm (0.4-197”)
Number of measuring tracks1-24
Resolution 0,01 mm (0.0004”)
Measuring rate2000 Hz

Operating Principle

The thickness is measured by our PreciCura laser sensor, which use the principle of optical triangulation. The sensor is equipped with DSP (Digital Signal Processor) for advanced signal processing. Almost any material and surface can be measured unsensitive to color variations. Sensors are connected together two by two, in differential thickness mode, to ensure high measurement accuracy even with heavily bouncing panels. Multiple measurement tracks are used to measure at different locations across the width of the panel.

System versions

PanelProfiler
1-24 fixed tracks standard system

PanelProfiler-TR
Traversing for full cross profiles in slow speed/continuous flow lines

PanelProfiler-WA
Width adjustable, motorized positioning of outer tracks

PanelProfiler-ST
Single track, budget system, with C-type of measurement frame

PanelProfiler-DUAL/TRIPLE
Multi station system, connected to a single system computer.
Typically for lines with two or three sanders

All measurement systems will have frame sizes fitted to the production conveyor. In general there are no problems installing them in places where there earlier has been no measurement system at all, or a contact roller system, which we replace in increasing numbers. It is easy to add additional measurement tracks to a running system, without the need neither for new system software nor a new commissioning.

System options

  • Non-contact length measurement. Doppler length gauge for replacement of the standard mechanical encoder. To be installed when there is is a need for high accuracy with slippage between panels and conveyor rollers
  • Bigger thickness measurement range (typically for insulation materials)
  • Panel width measurement
  • 2D sensors solutions for complete thickness cross profiles
  • Level 2 communication protocols, user defined

 

Non-contact measurement
The laser measuring principle means that the product is measured without contact. There is no product compression, no scratches or dirt marks and no wear.

Temperature stabilized mounting frames
To ensure stable and accurate measurement in a factory environment that can vary in temperature, LIMAB has developed unique temperature and mechanically stable mounting frames. This ensures long term stability and eliminates the need for frequent calibration.

Hostile environment protection
To enable reliable measurements in dusty and damp environments all PanelProfiler’s are equipped with an integrated forced air protection system. High volume air is provided by a fan/filter unit supplied with the system and means that maintenance is not required frequently. The system computer is as standard installed in a full size floor mounted PC cabinet.

Software
The system provides simple to read, real time 2D and 3D profile thickness graphs, numerical values with warning and out-of-tolerance limits indicated so that the operators instantly can see where problems are developing. Thickness values at the very panel front edge and other predefined positions are displayed. Trend information of Max/Min thickness/panel and Average thickness/track. Panel flatness lengthwise and crosswise are presented graphically and numerically. Software for multi opening presses is included. Easy to use recipe handling. All important data will be stored for post production analysis. Capability indexes Cp and Cpk are calculated. Network TCP/IP is provided to factory line and for remote diagnostics.

Calibration
Calibration tool, including support software, is included in delivery.

In-line quality control
Continuous, consistent, monitoring of product thickness can reduce scrap and improve plant efficiency. There are no time delays as between manual inspections and a quick feedback at product changes. No out-of-tolerance products will be sent out to customers. Conditions of production machinery like press and forming plates, sanding belts, drums alignment are kept under control. Production can be monitored from many different places in the factory. Production reports and statistics are generated.

Non-contact measurement
The laser based measurement offers many advantages in comparison with mechanical measurement systems:

  • Soft materials, like insulation and other low density materials, can readily be measured
  • Thin materials like veneer and HPL also possible to measure
  • Temperature stable measurement frame eliminates the need for “zero-calibrations” between panels, which make the PanelProfiler excellent also in high speed and continuous flow lines (like ContiPress wood panel lines and extrusion lines)
  • Panel edge to edge measurement. No impact panel – contact rollers means no rough debouncing, so the important panel front edge will be measured accurately.
  • No polishing or scratch marks on the product, especially important after sanders on the final product.
  • Lower maintenance costs – no mechanical wear.

Well proven design
LIMAB has been producing laser sensors for more than 30 years and we offer a 3 year warranty on selected sensors. We also have in-house design and production of all the other system parts such as mechanical frames and system software. The PanelProfiler system has been produced for more than 15 years, with about 100 installations around the world. It has constantly over the years been updated and upgraded with new functions according to the demands of the market.

Complete package
With the complete system assembled at LIMAB we provide a complete turn-key solution, where we as the only contractor take full responsibility. The PanelProfiler includes all the hardware and software needed for any factory installation. LIMAB provide commissioning, training and on-going product support and service worldwide.

Compatibility and maintenance
We offer upgrades of installed systems, typically a new software of the latest version with new functionality and operative system. We also offer additional measurement tracks to running systems if tighter measurements positions are requested. We keep sensors, both new and sensors for loan during repairs, in stock for mimimizing the problems at services. Training sessions for plant personnel can be performed.

Product thickness range0,1 – 150 mm (0.004-5,9”)
Resolution0,01 mm (0.0004”)
Repeatability± 0.03 mm at 2σ (0.0012”)
Linearity± 0.03 mm at 2σ (0.0012”)
Laser measurement rate2000 Hz
Laser power1 mW
Laser class2
Number of measuring tracks (min, max)1-24
Electrical power requirements230 VAC, 50Hz or 120VAC, 60 Hz