Clairefontaine, Success Story

Jun 1, 2021

Quality control of printing-writing paper in production
Paper production has a long tradition in the Meurthe valley, since the first paper mills were created there in the 16th century. It was in this favourable environment, 90 km from Strasbourg and on the banks of the Meurthe at Etival, that the Papeteries de Clairefontaine began production in 1858.

The quality is the essential requirement of Clairefontaine’s production, but its surface quality control was done with the naked eye:
“We used to control the paper by eye, and we had concerns about objectivity and repeatability. Indeed, we do not necessarily have the same sensitivity and the same discernment at 8:00 am as at 11:00 pm; one evening when we are called for a technical problem. “

To resolve this hazardous problem, Clairefontaine called on the company VISUOL in 2012, from which V-OPTICS took over the assets in 2018. The ambition was to develop a technological solution for the automation and optimization of the process. Phase shift deflectometry analysis was the perfect solution for our client’s need.

As our technology evolves, QualiSensor from V-Optics has replaced the old system and since 2019, this machine has been installed for production control in the Etival-Clairefontaine plant.

The advantage of QualiSensor is to control production at the edge of the line. Every fourth reel we cut a sample to ensure the quality of the paper. The parameter measured is the “mottling” of impression.. The lower mottling index is, better is the quality of the paper and printing quality will be better. Moreover, the director of Clairefontaine passes by daily to ensure about the quality index of the day provided by the QualiSensor. Clairefontaine wishes to continue this successful experience with V-Optics. now rely on this collaboration to go further with the system, “we now want to take the time to work with the system as part of the R&D, to seek the best surface homogeneity that will receive the printing ink”.

For our customer, the preferred feature on his QualiSensor is the ripple card. A map is a 2D representation, in the form of an image of a given measurand. V-OPTICS software allows the calculation of a multitude of maps.
All of these possibilities are advantages in the quality control process.

Today, we can say that there is a real collaboration between V-Optics engineers and Clairefontaine. Periodically, V-OPTICS team makes sure that the installation meets its function and when we need them, they are always available and listening. Especially Nassim CHERIFI, IT / Vision engineer, who takes care of our installation.