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ABB launches new paper machine moisture sensor for pulp, paper and board applications

February 14, 2022  By P&PC Staff

ABB’s patented High-Performance Infrared Reflection (HPIR-R) moisture sensor (Image: ABB)

ABB has launched its High-Performance Infrared-Reflection (HPIR-R) moisture sensor, which provides fast, precise moisture monitoring. The sensor takes up to 5,000 measurements per second and delivers precise, high-resolution measurement that enables mills to increase throughput while reducing operating costs.

The company stated in a release that this advanced technology is designed to help pulp, paper and board producers know the precise moisture levels. Based on the moisture levels, they will be able to raise moisture targets and improve their CD profiles.

Being able to measure and control moisture levels can lead to significant energy savings.


The small spot of infrared energy used in ABB’s new sensor provides streak resolution and accurate edge-to-edge sheet measurement, even in difficult environments. The measurement is taken continuously while scanning. There is no beam chopping or filter wheels, thus ensuring optimum signal-to-noise ratio and maximum measurement rate.

ABB’s new HPIR-R moisture measurement has a built-in sheet temperature sensor. The product is designed to be fully air-cooled and field repairable. It is also insensitive to dust and disturbances.

“ABB’s HPIR-R moisture sensor provides the highest frequency measurements possible, which helps customers to improve quality, reduce downtime, decrease costs and increase yields,” said Andy Broomfield, Product Line Manager at ABB. “It has been designed for papermakers looking for accurate and precise moisture measurement in hot, difficult machine environments.”

According to ABB, the highest impact application for this reflection moisture sensor is before a size press, where better precision and accuracy lets pulp, paper and board producers raise the moisture target. This gives optimized starch/sizing pickup and reduces drying energy demand. This also applies to pre-coat locations.

ABB adds that another high-value application for the sensor is placing it after the wet press section. This enables operators to adjust press loadings to improve the moisture profile and increase sheet dryness going into the dryers. In addition to energy savings, this also gives higher sheet strength in that sensitive area of the machine.

The fully digital sensor is part of the ABB Ability Quality Management System. The sensor provides a comprehensive set of diagnostic data which can be used for analytics to inform on-site or corporate-level decision-making.

The sensor is applicable for all network platform types and can be used to measure publication grades, graphic papers, board, tissue, packaging, specialist and recycled grades.

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