ThermHex Waben increases the efficiency of their patented honeycomb production with radio wave weighing system
ThermHex Waben, specialist manufacturer of thermoplastic polypropylene honeycomb cores for lightweight sandwich panels and composites, have increased the efficiency of their production with the introduction of an in-line Hammer IMS Marveloc-CURTAIN basis-weight measuring system.
The three-headed sensor is a radio transceiver and scans across the full 1.4 m width of the production line, checking for quality at the start of the line, fine tuning the process and eliminating human error. This quality can be affected by a range of environmental factors, from temperature, humidity to a draft of air across part of the line.
The Marveloc-CURTAIN then feeds back to the extruder to make tiny changes, without the intervention of an operator, and thereby increase consistency in basis-weight and cell wall thickness.
Changes are made individually at each of the 65 extrusion head bolts, enabling a much narrower film thickness variance and higher process capability. This will widen the appeal of the honeycomb cores to other industries, including aerospace and solar power generation.
The Marveloc-CURTAIN is accurate for a range of materials, such as polypropylene and polyethylene terephthalate, and includes any colours. It is also sufficiently compact to fit onto most production lines. The system has a large stand-off between sensors and the material, ensuring no collisions.
Friedrich Zerling, Head of Research & Development at ThermHex said “We have been searching for a compact, non-contact quality control system for a while and the Hammer system is a perfect fit. That we can measure basis-weight and locally averaged film thickness of different complex shaped webs in real time has improved the efficiency of our production and allowed to implement an additional step towards complete process automation.”
Nele Reynders, Operations Manager of Hammer-IMS and project leader for the installation, said: “I am really pleased that the Marveloc-CURTAIN is having such a positive impact on ThermHex’s production. We worked closely with the ThermHex Waben team to introduce our in-line measurement system into this honeycomb technology.”
The Hammer IMS systems are unique in the way they measure materials. Other systems typically use nuclear methods, which come with a host of legal restrictions and conditions for use. These add cost and complexity, sometimes requiring a dedicated license.
ThermHex’s honeycomb cores offer a lightweight, high-rigidity material that is ideal for applications where an optimum strength to weight is required. Being so versatile and with the ability to be produced continuously in a range of cell sizes, ThermHex honeycomb cores and panels have found their place in trucks, ship interiors, prefabricated bathrooms, modern swimming pools, automotive parts and much more.
Learn more about ThermHex Waben’s patented honeycomb production process by visiting their website or stopping by stand C37, Hall 8a at the K Show 2022. More details on Hammer-IMS’ technology can be found at https://www.hammer-ims.com/technology.