frequently asked questions and answers about web gauging thickness and basis weight measurement systems

Web gauging equipment, also known as thickness and basis weight measurement and control systems, enable the efficient production of uniform, reliable, functional products to meet the demanding requirements of end users. They come in a wide range of online, non-contact measurement solutions for flat-sheet applications in the extruded plastic, packaging film, coating, lithium-ion battery, building materials, and textile industries.

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about web gauging thickness and basis weight measurement systems.

A:  Web thickness & basis weight measurement systems are necessary for the efficient production of uniform, reliable, functional products. These online, non-contact basis weight and thickness measurement gauges are used for flat-sheet applications in the plastics, rubber, lithium-ion battery, building materials, and textiles industries and meet the tightest specifications in the most challenging measurement environments.


A: Along with the quality benefits of using a web thickness measurement and control system, there are many cost saving benefits including reduced scrap, increased production yield, faster startup and changeover times, and reduced raw material usage.

A: The typical payback period of a web gauging system is a year or less.

A:  Nonwoven materials have their fibers bonded together by chemical, mechanical, heat or solvent treatment.  Nonwoven manufacturing processes includes spunbond, spunlace, airlaid, meltblown, carded, and needlepunch. These processes must be carefully controlled to ensure that the fabrics are resilient, liquid repellant, and leakproof. Measurement and control systems for nonwovens should measure the basis weight or thickness of nonwoven materials as well as binder or super-absorbent polymer (SAP) content and moisture, especially for hygienic applications. The latest web gauging technology can help ensure efficient production of uniform, reliable, functional products, and help support the stringent reporting requirements for roll quality with full-lot traceability.

A:  Manufacturing building materials such as insulation, roofing, shingles, carpet, abrasives, and flooring presents the most difficult and challenging measurement environments. Because of these challenges, measurement and control systems for building materials must use appropriate technology and ruggedized designs such as purging, air wipes, and stainless steel components. Web gauging sensors can be traversing or fixed single point, and optimization controls should be tailored to each application.  This will help ensure product quality, uniformity, efficiency, and raw material savings along with equipment reliability and minimal downtime.

A:  Many manufacturers offer plastics films and packaging that extend the shelf life of meat and cheese products and protect medical instruments from contaminants. Measurement and control system for extrusion must measure the thickness of extruded films and sheet for a range of applications, including food and medical packaging, lithium-ion battery separator film, and technical films to minimize the thickness variation of the web.The latest systems offer special control packages such as integrated mass balance mapping for biax film and stretch/shrink compensation and also include multilayer sensor technologies that are ideal for producing barrier layer films for the food, medical, and specialty film markets.

Manufacturers of food packaging and adhesive coatings need reliable repeatable technologies to produce superior quality products in high volume for aseptic packaging, extrusion coating and tandem extrusion coating. Manufacturing process control and repeatability is key to ensuring coated products meet the industry standard for stability, durability and barrier protection.

Measurement and control systems for coating and converting must be able to measure the basis weight and/or thickness of thick extruded sheet for thermoformed food, beverage and medical packaging, as well as adhesive coatings and coatings for food packaging.

A: Vinyl calendering is a complex process that requires a modular measurement and control strategy that can be configured according to the application. Measurement and control systems for vinyl calendering must provide accurate, reliable measurement of the basis weight or thickness of materials used in vinyl manufacturing. The latest technology utilizes a highly efficient two or three zone calender control system, to ensure each component meets strict manufacturing guidelines and high quality standards. Vinyl calendering systems incorporate scanning basis weight and true thickness measurements with optional stationary sensors. Accurate profile measurement that is independent of roll condition and line speed is important.

A:  Lithium Ion battery technology is used in everything from small hand-held electronics to medium sized electric vehicles such as cars, buses and trucks to larger marine vessels and smart grid energy storage systems. Critical to the advancement of the battery is the emergence of higher quality separator film, coating of separator film for higher efficiency, and the critical thickness and weight of the anode and cathode continuous, patch or strip coating.

Thickness measurement and control solutions for lithium-ion batteries help measure the thickness of separator film and also the coat weight of both sides of the anode/cathode substrate. For separator film, the latest sensor technology uses full spectrum infrared to measure both the microporous structure and specialty coatings. For the anode and cathode, sensor slot geometry, superior edge to edge measurement and special patch coating measurement algorithms are used to ignore bare substrate, determine key dimensions, and help the industry improve the quality, consistency and productivity of lithium ion batteries.


Beta transmission sensors are used in the web gauging industry to measure basis weight and control processes in the polymers and plastics industry. For the best measurement and therefore the best control, there are a number of design elements that are critical to delivering superior sensor performance.  Here are 6 Critical Factors For Predicting Beta Sensor Signals in Web Gauging.

Video: Thermo Scientific web gauging equipment

Need help choosing a web gauging system that's right for you?

Online, non-contact web gauging systems employ several different technologies to meet a wide range of flat-sheet applications in the extruded plastic, packaging film, coating, rubber and textile industries.

Do you know how to choose a gauging platform, sensor, and scanner that will work best for your application?

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