A scanner or a gauge is a measurement system typically located on a production line. Its function is to characterize the main parameters of flat materials during their manufacturing process which consequently allows to control the line.
There are three possible modes of operation:
- 1. Manual Control: It is performed by the operator.
- 2. Automatic Customer Control: The scanner transmits data to the customer's control system.
- 3. Automatic Scantech Control: The manufacturing process is controlled by Scantech's equipments.
The scanners consist of three main modules combined to meet the requirements of the customer's application:
- 1. The Mechanical frames: They are adapted to the width of the material to be measured, to the constraints of space, to the environmental conditions and to the type of measurement needed.
- 2. The Control System which defines the internal electronic, network and software architecture of the scanners. It includes also the necessary electrical equipment.
- 3. The Sensors which are selected in order to provide the best measurement solution for each application. From a network and software point of view, scanners can handle any number of sensors, but available space constraints on the production line along with actual customer requirements normally limit the quantity to three or possibly four.
The scanners operate in scanning mode or in fixed point position.
In scanning mode, the material is measured along its full width (including edges) in a constant back and forth pattern. The measured path, taking into account the material movement, is shown in the figure on the left.
In almost all cases, the corresponding statistical sampling is more than enough to correctly characterize the measured quality parameters.
In "fixed point" mode, the sensor(s) is placed at a specific point across the width of the material to be measured. It only provides measurements in the production direction (machine direction).
This mode is best used when the cross profile is not very important and mainly when the process control response time in the machine direction needs to be very fast.