Keeping the exact mechanical tension is a necessity with many continuous, rolling production lines. When companies are converting film, foil, cable, paper, plastic, textiles and wire, they require some form of tension control. Part of such a system is a tension indicator. Without it, the control mechanism is not aware of the need to tighten, loosen or otherwise adjust the tension level.
What Do Tension Indicators Do?
The control of any type of tension requires some type of mechanism to alert the controller. Tension indicators perform this role. The type of indicator a company installs is different as each is based on the specific application. While their major role is to monitor the web or strip tension on the continuous process production lines, some indicators can also perform the following actions:
* Rate control
* Basis weight control
* Thickness control
Feedback signal to a PLC, drive system or system controller
Companies can also purchase specific types of devices, including a tension indicator able to offer data concerning web alignment and/or detect web breakage. Moreover, companies can choose among several options when it comes to controlling methods utilizes by web tension indicators. The major choices are:
* Limit control (aka off-on control, bang-bang control)
* Linear control
* Proportional, integral, and derivative (PID) control
* Fuzzy logic
Advanced or nonlinear
The operator can read the incoming information on an analog or LED digital display. Some types of tension indicators can send a sound warning or alarm as well.
The Ever Evolving Tension Indicator
Today, tension indicators are becoming more sophisticated than ever before. Companies compete to produce the latest and most advanced models. Some are singular in intent while others are multi-functional. Everything considered the tension indicator is not fixed in time. It is ever evolving to meet the changing demands of continuous rolling or flat material production lines.