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Advanced Photonix using T-Gauge systems

By: Frank Antosiewicz

April 5, 2012

ORLANDO, FLA.(April 15, 5:15 p.m. ET) — Advanced Photonix Inc. (Booth 32055) recently signed an agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (Booth 5555) to allow the company to use its T-Gauge industrial terahertz gauging system for its line of web and metal gauges.

The API sensor was developed as part the University of Michigan’s work with NASA about 10 years ago, according to an interview with John Riccardi, Sales Manager for Terahertz at API, and now Thermo Fisher Scientific will offer it as a way to monitor web based and converting industry production.

The gauge system is non-evasive, non-nuclear, using light waves to measure physical properties such as multiple layer thickness, density, contamination by foreign substances, sub-surface defects within a product and moisture analysis.

“It helped NASA solve a problem about six years…Now they can inspect an entire foam structure and it takes about 48 hours,” he said.

Riccardi noted that the same technology has been used for military applications, such as Lockheed Martin’s B-35 bomber and for Homeland Security’s hand-held inspection system.

“It’s a complete system and no one else can do it,” said Kim Townsend, director of sales in the Americas for Web and Metals Gauging at Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Townsend said that they had a similar idea about three years ago, but didn’t find a market. However, an undisclosed customer brought the two companies together to create the needed application.

The Photonix sensor is capable of replacing on-line web measurement that since the 1950s that utilized either nuclear isotopes, ionizing x-ray, eddy-current, laser or infrared technologies, according to API.

The T-Ray 5200 T-gauge web process measuring system takes light speed measurements and is able to target a 2 millimeter spot size. It uses patented fiber-coupled sensors.

Riccardi said that its target applications include laminations and composites, aseptic packaging structures and foam building materials. Other uses he noted included seeing packaging solutions, paint thickness inspection, robotic discrete part inspection and THz spectroscopy.

Advanced Photonix, a leading supplier of optoelectronic products, is based in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“We are delighted about this new relationship with Advanced Photonix. Their new sensor technology compliments our Thermo Scientific measurement and control portfolio,” said Douglas Wright, Global Commercial Manager for Gauging at Thermo Fisher Scientific.

The agreement makes Thermo Fisher Scientific a value-added reseller for the T-Gauge system.