The 300th TSA - Tissue Softness Analyzer was sold worldwide: a reason for emtec Electronic to celebrate

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At the beginning of 2019, the German company emtec Electronic GmbH could celebrate the 300th globally sold TSA – Tissue Softness Analyzer. As documented, today the device is used in 48 countries on all continents on earth, whereby the most units are used in Europe, followed by North America and Asia.

Diagram: worldwide distribution of the emtec TSA - Tissue Softness Analyzer
Many years ago, the hand feel of tissue paper, no matter if base tissue, toilet paper, facials or others, has been tested by human hand panels. Since this quality parameter became more and more important, the subjective and not always reliable enough hand test needed to be replaced by an objective testing device, which can provide reliable and repeatable data.

The company emtec Electronic with its very innovative R&D Department is well known for finding customized solutions, and on demand, the development of the TSA - Tissue Softness Analyzer started in 2004. The first device has been sold to a tissue maker in 2007. Over the years, the device could be improved permanently and new functions were added. The TSA is able to provide the necessary data fast, accurate, reliable and repeatable. But even more important is, that it can measure the three basic parameters which determine the human hand feel – the softness, roughness and stiffness.

Today, companies from all different parts of the tissue industry use the TSA in their R&D, process and product optimization, complaint management and marketing. Among the users are research institutes and universities, tissue machine manufacturers, chemical suppliers, tissue makers and converters, but also retailers.

This success in the tissue industry created interest in other industries as well. In 2012, first activities have been started in the nonwoven industry, followed by the textile industry in 2015. It could be proved, that the device could be used in the same good way for these kinds of materials and again the R&D and Application Department helped, to adapt the TSA to the special needs of these two industries.

New measuring method to evaluate the Hand Feel (HF) of Fiber Resources

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The TSA – Tissue Softness Analyzer represents a nearly perfect simulation of the human hand and shows excellent results in measuring base tissue and finished tissue products (toilet paper, handkerchiefs, facials). In case of hand sheets made in the lab, the device also convinced in measuring the influence of pulp quality (short fibers), refining or softener. But it was limited until now to measure the influence of different compositions of long and short fibers to the softness of hand sheets, and thus, to predict the haptic quality of tissue products.73

The German company emtec Electronic, which developed the original TSA – Tissue Softness Analyzer, upgraded the device with a new sensor design and Marcel Prinz, now Doctoral student at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich, started his master thesis with several tests with the upgraded prototype of the TSA in 2017. He proved and optimized the new TSA measuring method for hand sheets, which enables the measurement of the influence of different fiber mixes (long and short fibers ratio) to the quality of the hand sheet. By the new sensor design and an improved measuring method it was possible to gain very accurate and reliable results with a good correlation to the expectations and the haptic tests. This available information allows a quality forecast for the actual base tissue and finished product, if a certain fiber mix is used.

The new TSA measuring method opens completely new possibilities in saving costs and resources in the production, and it leads to an efficiency increase in the process and product optimization. Especially pulp mills, research institutes and the R&D labs of tissue mills and chemical suppliers waited for such results. Since the last quarter of 2018, the full upgraded TSA version for such measurements, but also the upgrade of an existing standard TSA, is available.

New and objective measuring technique to analyse softness

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At the Edana Nonwoven Symposium INS 2015, a German developer and producer of paper testing technology presented a new method for process optimisation, quality assurance and R&D in nonwoven production and converting.

Publication in "avr - Allgemeiner Vliesstoff-Report" Issue 05-2015 on pages 99-101

[to read the complete article please click to the link below to download pdf-file]

The company´s so-called TSA (Tissue Softness Analyser) is a well proven device for the tissue industry and might now conquer the nonwoven business as well. TSA was introduced and invented by Dipl.-Phys. Giselher Gruener in 2006 as a completely new measuring method which simulates human touch to a great extent during testing of a sample by hand.

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