P&G has an initiative to improve reliability in their supply chain. This initiative focuses on understanding the location of undue stress and strain in papermachine fabrics at different points. Understanding the location of undue stress and strain would extend belt life and drive life, which would ultimately help avoid unnecessary downtime.
The papermachines have forming wires and drying belts that incredibly long and very wide. They can be very expensive due to proprietary woven patterns and material construction. When in use, the fabrics are subjected to varying levels of moisture, temperature, pressure and high-speed conditions on each revolution. Multiple rolls and nips drive and create drag throughout the process, which leads to strain on the fabrics.
Business Challenge / Needs Definition:
P&G is looking for technology that will visually measure strain and stress in the fabrics at different points of the process. In doing so, the technology would enable better drive tuning and prevent undue strain cycles on each revolution. A mark of known static length can be added to the belt and then measured to understand the stretched length in the machine. The business challenge is focused on understanding the measurement of stress / strain in the physical system; digital twins or representational models would not meet the business challenge needs. The team has the ability to modify the belts if needed but have a strong preference for ready-to-use solutions.
An ideal solution will meet the following requirements:
- Technology must be portable
- Solution must be highly accurate
- Solution must work in real time
- Ability to capture data in high-speed driven rolls
- Compatible with a range of operating temperatures and moisture
The regional focus of this brief is North America and pilot activations will initially be focused on the United States. Startups applying must have a presence or the ability to immediately activate in the United States.
Relevant technology domains may include, but are not limited to:
- Vision Distance Sensing
- Laser Distance Sensing
- High-speed Optics
- High-speed Camera Technology
- Predictive Maintenance
- Conveyor Belt Laser Scanners
- Conveyor Monitoring Systems