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Dynamic Ensis invention improves box quality

CSIRO : 24 May, 2007  (Technical Article)
A new invention by Ensis that measures the stiffness of corrugated boxes will provide the paper packaging industry with the ability to improve the quality of their products, and help exporters reduce the risk of product damage through faulty boxes.
The instrument, a “Dynamic Stiffness Tester” or DST, can be used by corrugated board manufacturers to monitor and minimise damage that may occur during the manufacturing process.

Ensis senior scientist Ian Chalmers says the strength of corrugated boxes can be deduced from the stiffness of the paperboard components and this is a good indicator of their general performance.

“Until now, there has been no easy way of measuring the shear stiffness of corrugated board,” Mr Chalmers says. “By providing a reliable quantification of board quality, shear stiffness measurements will reduce these deficiencies.”

World leading packaging and recycling company Visy has been one of the first to install the instruments.

Adrian Dalgleish, of Visy, says: “The DST provides a quick reliable measure that is sensitive to ‘crush’ that enables us to control the corrugating and converting processes to tolerances that were not able to before.

“This reduces the incidence of box failure in the marketplace and we are now looking to implement more DST machines into our North American operations.”

The DST works by oscillating or vibrating a sample of board to measure its torsional stiffness.

Mr Chalmers says: “The instrument requires only a small sample cut from the board or box, which is then placed in the DST. Ten seconds and four oscillations later, an accurate result for stiffness is produced.

“The invention came about after Ensis was asked what was available in the Australasian marketplace to test this property of corrugated board, and we realised there was nothing available to do the job.

“The instrument’s ability to measure damage to corrugated boxes has been shown to be quick, reliable, repeatable and cost-effective.

Ensis senior scientist Ian Chalmers says the strength of corrugated boxes can be deduced from the stiffness of the paperboard components and this is a good indicator of their general performance.“There is clearly a market for the new device, which is exciting. We have already received orders from local corrugated board manufacturers and also envisage marketing it offshore through an international licensee. We are confident we have developed a product that will maximise the efficiency of corrugated board and boxes, and therefore be beneficial to the industry.”

The project is part of the wider Smart Packaging research program at Ensis Papro aimed at developing innovative technologies to enhance the function, performance and cost-competitiveness of paperboard packaging.
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