OMNIR moisture sensor changes status quo in paper industry

After years surveying the needs of customers, Finna Sensors has developed its new on-line near infrared sensor (NIR) as a means of meeting the growing demands of the paper manufacturing sector and the increasing need for more data.

Finna Sensors has worked to develop the OMNIR, a more innovative, data-driven, near infrared moisture sensor that draws from the company’s history as market leader in lumber moisture measurement. In 2015, Finna Sensors purchased Moisture Register Products which was developing hardware and using NIR - a method that uses reflected light to measure the surface of a multitude of applications, including paper. The NIR technique has proven to be one of the best methods for online, continuous and non-destructive measurement.

Integral to the development of the new OMNIR senor, Finna Sensors created core principles that have been built into its design to address the pressures facing the paper manufacturing sector.

Technology had to be able to take advantage of rapid innovation. OMNIR has been designed to regularly be improved based on the needs of customers. There is no waiting for the next generation of technology as the OMNIR software can be upgraded via the cloud, negating the need for an on-site technician or sending in the sensor for the latest updates.

Technology had to be userfriendly. OMNIR was built on a Microsoft platform and SQL database, making interfaces and integration more familiar. Finna Sensors kept the technology relatable to make start-up, training and adoption more efficient.

Data is vital to any operation, but it must be actionable, not just droves of information that cannot be deciphered. The system has robust factor floor integration and has built-in Internet of Things (IoT) functionality. OMNIR derived its name from the word Omni, meaning allsensing. Not only does it focus on measuring product accurately, it also continuously measures itself: 19 points of internal sensor health to ensure greater up-time and making maintenance more predictable.

Although data is central, hardware was also kept in mind. OMNIR was built with a modular design, keeping the most sensitive electronics away from the line, and allowing the sensor to perform in the harshest conditions. Additionally, using patented TrueOptics technique, the OMNIR measures the reflected light after it hits the product sample, decreasing the effect of outside influences such as dust, color variations, and vibrations. The new sensor is one of the company’s new products as Finna Sensors is building towards a networked future where data is shared between systems, and used by humans, to make operational decisions.

Finna Sensors www.finnasensors.com

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