Shining a Light on Brightness Monitoring Sensors

Friday, September 25, 2020

Industries Where Brightness Monitoring Sensors Matter

If your organization is involved in the production of sugar or paper, you understand that a key part of your quality strategy is understanding the brightness of your product. In addition to other testing and compliance requirements, you have to meet certain regulations to ensure you’re delivering high-quality products in the market. A key part of this that we’ll cover shortly is a brightness monitoring sensor.

For companies that process raw and refined sugars, you’ll know the standards set forth by the International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis (ICUMSA), which regulates food and sugar color values. For brown raw and white refined sugars, the ICUMSA scale measures the amount of yellowness that remains in sugar during the refinement process. This information helps you regulate your manufacturing process and ultimately deliver a high-quality product for your customers.

Paper producers must also meet industry-specific brightness standards such as ISO 2470-1, which is used to measure the diffuse blue reflectance factor of pulps, papers, and boards. Because the brightness of paper will affect the quality of any images or text printed on it, it’s important to understand where your material stands in terms of its brightness by using a brightness monitoring sensor so you meet industry standards and are able to measure the performance of your manufacturing process.

These are just a few of the many products and industries where a brightness monitoring sensor plays a key role in maintaining manufacturing efficiency and product quality. Others include pulp, gypsum, and rice. But what makes for an ideal sensor? While having the ability to automatically meet industry compliance levels is attractive, there are other aspects to consider. Let’s shine a light on what to look for in the ideal sensor.

4 Attributes of an Ideal Brightness Monitoring Sensor

1. Cost-Effectiveness

Sugar production is rising worldwide, and while graphic paper (newsprint, printer paper, etc.) has been shrinking due to digitization, pulp and other papers are growing in demand for multiple new and innovative uses. With this increased demand comes a greater need for expanded capacity in manufacturing facilities, and with that, comes more pressure to continue delivering quality while maintaining costs.

As a key part of sugar and paper production, including brightness monitoring sensors in your process goes without saying. But the investment required can vary wildly by manufacturer. What’s needed now to match this increasing production is a brightness sensor that helps you measure the brightness of your products — without the higher costs of other sensor solutions. This ensures you’re able to quickly update your in-line manufacturing process to get the information you need and realize a faster ROI.

2. Simple Integration

Your manufacturing process and equipment layout are unique to your facility and business. It’s critical that whatever brightness monitoring sensor you choose is able to quickly and easily integrate into that environment. A key consideration here is distance. You might need to conduct sensing at a slightly further or closer distance based on your setup, so choosing a solution that allows flexibility in terms of distance from the product being scanned ensures that it can be put to work sooner without having to make other changes (and that can lead to costly equipment downtime).

3. Easy Adjustment

To ensure your brightness sensing application provides accurate readings and achieves its goal of improving manufacturing quality and efficiency, you’d likely be using more than one sensor. However, because of the natural changes in light throughout a facility and the variability between products, multiple sensors may produce different readings. To solve this, you’ll need a brightness monitoring sensor that allows adjustments in several key areas, such as sensitivity, light source intensity, and gain selection.

Being able to quickly and easily adjust these important aspects of a brightness monitoring sensor allows you to configure sensors to read more identically. As a result, the data output is more accurate throughout the production process, enabling control systems to more accurately track brightness information. This also helps to minimize quality variations, reduce operating costs, and overall eliminate more manual processes.

4. Accurate Correlation

If you don’t want to invest in more expensive solutions that are already set to scan for the thresholds needed for ICUMSA and ISO compliance, it’ll be important to choose a brightness monitoring sensor that allows you to configure it manually and accurately correlate it. At EMX, our BriteX sensor allows you to capture changes in light by measuring a sample of a known IU and comparing it against the IU of the ideal product output. 

Using sugar as an example, as material is scanned and varies in its color, the voltage setting in the sensor will increase or decrease, allowing a control system to detect change between the two IUs. The discrete output of the BriteX sensor provides an easy-to-understand way to know if the material being scanned is above or below the proper threshold.

BriteX is a Simple Yet Effective Solution for Brightness Sensing

The BriteX series of brightness sensors from EMX Industries, Inc. is a cost-effective and durable solution for multiple industries in need of reliable brightness detection. Three model options are available depending on your application needs: the BriteX-100 for small spot sizes, the BriteX-1000P for process control of paper- and textile-based applications, and the BriteX-1000S for reflectance measurements of raw and refined sugar.

This advanced sensor features 99 levels of relative brightness scale on a high-resolution analog output, allowing you to properly correlate readings to the appropriate ICUMSA or ISO ratings. And with detection ranges up to 1000mm, the BriteX series of sensors seamlessly integrates into your production environment at a fraction of the costs of competing brightness monitoring sensors.

Get a free evaluation to see if the BriteX sensor will support your application, or contact our sales team to put this cost-effective brightness sensor to work today.