Tech Talk @ Scanning Devices, Inc.
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Tech Talk @ Scanning Devices, Inc.

Best practice for using measuring wheels in Repeat Length Measurement applications

by Bob Bushnell on 07/27/17

Our customers often use our Repeat Length Measurement System to measure and record repeat lengths on film in a printing press or die cutting machine.  Film will often stretch as it moves through the press making it difficult to get precise registration control.  Our system can be used to take accurate measurements that can assist in better process control of these stretchable materials.  It uses a print mark scanner and precision encoder to measure the actual repeat length of the material during the operation of the press.

We recommend you mount the encoder on a driven shaft that the web material passes over.  This has proven to give better accuracy of web movement.  In some cases it is just not possible to attach the encoder to the end of a shaft.  As an alternative, we provide a 12” measuring wheel which is attached to the encoder’s shaft and then placed on the face of the material as the web passes through the press. With the known circumference of the measuring wheel you can get accurate measurements of web movement.

One might assume that because the manufacturer specifies the encoder wheel as 12” circumference that this measurement can be relied upon.  In reality, there are tolerances in the manufacturing of the measurement wheel and its outer rubber tire that can make the circumference a bit longer or shorter.  If you are using a measuring wheel, it is best practice to determine the actual circumference of the wheel you are using.

Circumference is easily calculated by measuring the diameter of the measuring wheel with a micrometer and multiplying by Pi (3.141592).

Once you know the actual circumference of the measuring wheel and have installed the system we recommend a manual check.  Run some of the material you are measuring through the press, take a manual measurement, and compare it to the measurement from the system’s console.  This should validate that you have set up the system correctly and are ready to go.  

If you need advice on measuring repeat lengths, need a Repeat Length Measurement System, Scanners, Encoders or Measuring Wheel, please give us a call (800-323-3347).

Counting clear labels when splices are present

by Bob Bushnell on 06/24/16

One of the most challenging situations our customers face is counting clear labels when the rolls have been spliced by the supplier.  Clear labels can be counted at high speeds with precise accuracy, but the presence of a splice can create unique problems.  We us a dedicated sensor for counting Clear Labels.  The clear label sensor uses capacitive sensing  to identify the label on the web as it passes through the sensing region on the sensor.  The presence of a splice which overlaps multiple labels will present as an error and halt the counting process.  If it covers just one spot on the web adjacent to a label it may be counted as a label, effecting the integrity of the count.

 It has long been industry standard for label suppliers to use a colored splice tape when adding a splice to the roll.  This week we had a customer find clear splice tape on a roll of clear labels. Because the splice covered more than one label our Label Counting Table reported an error, but going forward they will need to talk to their supplier to either eliminate splices in clear label rolls, or, add a colored splice instead of a clear splice so the operator can identify the splice and adjust the counting process.

If a roll of clear labels has a colored splice, the operator can stop our machine at that point and cut the web and remove the splice from the roll, creating two smaller rolls out of one roll.  This is the best practice for accurately counting clear labels with splices.  If this is not feasible, the operator can visually determine how the splice will be counted and adjust the count using the Adjust Count Feature at the end of the counting process. 

Counting clear label rolls with splices can be a challenge, but a combination of the features on our machine, and efforts to change the process with the label supplier, can provide effective solutions to the problems presented. 

Clear Label Sensor & Adjust Count Feature are both optional features that can be configured into your Label Counting Table from Scanning Devices, Inc.

Validation Tools for Label Counting Tables

by Bob Bushnell on 06/23/16

Many of our Label Counting Table customers need a method for validating their new machines.  Typically, before putting the machine in use, customers must have some structured process for verifying and documenting that the machine counts accurately.  Scanning Devices, Inc. offers two tools that work together to accomplish this objective.  First, is a roll of 1000 labels that have been certified at the factory to have exactly 1000 labels, and is designed to be tamper evident so labels cannot be inadvertently removed.  Second, is our Label Validation Software that connects to the Label Counting Table and provides step-by-step instructions for validating the machine.  The software controls the validation process, provides a pass/fail result for the process, and then allows the data from that validation effort to be saved to a connected computer for record keeping.  If your organization needs a solid solution for validating your new Label Counting Machine, be sure to include a Scanning Devices, Inc. Certified Test Roll, and Validation Software Package in your machine order.  These items are listed on our Label Counting Options page.

New Scanning Devices charger helps UMass robotics team win first place in NASA competition!

by Bob Bushnell on 06/13/13

Congratulations from all of us at Scanning Devices to the UMass Lowell Rover Hawks for their win at the recent Robotics Competition in Houston Texas.  

Scanning Devices is pleased and proud to have been able to support your efforts with our new BC400 Multi-bay Battery Charger for the BB-2590 batteries that powered your robot.  Great work building an exceptional robot!

Check out the amazing pictures of the event at:

Scanning Devices Charger to be used at NASA Robot Competition

by Bob Bushnell on 05/10/13

Our new BC400 Multi-bay Battery Charger for the BB2590 Li-Ion battery will be taking a trip to Texas with a team of students from UMass Lowell to compete in a Robotics competition sponsored by NASA and organized by the National Institute of Aerospace.  The UMass Lowell team is one of eight teams from across the US to be selected to compete in this event.  The UMass Lowell Rover has been updated to use BB2590 Lithium Ion batteries, and the Scanning Devices multi-bay battery charger will be used to charge batteries used in the UMass Lowell Rover during the competition.  Check out the news on the competition at    Best of luck to the UMass Lowell team!    For more information on our multi-bay charger for the BB2590 visit