Industry Press Releases

Yokogawa Releases the WEBFREX NV Online Thickness Gauge

Friday, May 15, 2015

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that it has developed the WEBFREX NV, an online gauge that measures and controls the thickness of films and sheets, thereby ensuring that they have a uniform thickness -

The WEBFREX NV features an operator station with improved operation and monitoring functions. Scheduled for release on June 30, this new product will succeed Yokogawa's current offering, the WEBFREX3 online thickness gauge. With the release of the WEBFREX NV, Yokogawa will strengthen its leading position in the Japanese market and expand its sales in other key global markets.

Development Background
As in most industries, manufacturers of the films and sheets used in such applications as rechargeable batteries (separator sheets) and product packaging need to construct production lines that can manufacture high-quality products quickly and stably. Gauges ensure uniform film and sheet thickness by measuring and controlling this online, during the manufacturing process. To ensure high production quality and efficiency, these gauges must be highly precise and capable of operating at a high speed.

With its best-in-class resolution and scanning speed, Yokogawa's WEBFREX3 is Japan's top-selling online thickness gauge, and it has also captured a significant share of markets outside Japan (based on an April 2015 Yokogawa market survey). To help its customers reduce their operating costs, Yokogawa has developed the WEBFREX NV.

Product Features

1. Integrated data server function
A high-performance PC is used for the WEBFREX NV operator station, and optional software is available that allows this to function as a data server. This computer is capable of saving thickness distribution graphs (profiles) collected over long periods of time, thereby facilitating the tracking of film and sheet product quality even after product shipment. Optional software is also available that can display time-series data in three dimensions. By pointing and clicking on screen, users can easily select a specific profile for viewing and analysis. The integrated data server function eliminates the need for a separate data server, reducing both cost (initial and maintenance costs) and overall system size.

2. Long-term availability
The operator station PC is a Dell product that has been customized based on Yokogawa's specifications. This is a "long-life product" that will remain available for twice as long as commercial off-the-shelf products, for improved long-term maintenance. Likewise, the operating system for this PC will not need to be updated as frequently. With this dedicated product, the same model will be able to be used for a longer period of time, thereby easing the task of system expansion and replacement.

Major Target Markets
Manufacturers of film and sheet products including separators used in rechargeable batteries, sheets used in product packaging, sheets used in building materials, functional materials, optical film, and metallic foil.

Measurement and control of film and sheet thickness to ensure product quality.

About Yokogawa's Online Thickness Gauge Business
In 1963, Yokogawa entered the thickness gauge business by releasing a beta-beam gauge for measuring the thickness of paper. In 1972, the company released the B/M1000, a thickness gauge with a built-in computer. To cover a wider range of film products, Yokogawa came out with the 8640 radiation-type thickness gauge in 1974. The company has continued to develop sophisticated technologies for the measurement and control of thickness, and currently offers the B/M9000 VP measurement and control system for paper and coating machines and the WEBFREX series online thickness gauges for the measurement and control of plastic, resin, and metal sheet thickness. The WEBFREX series comes in two models: the WEBFREX NV to be released on June 30 and the WEBFREX3ES, which is intended for use with the electrode materials employed in rechargeable batteries.

About Yokogawa
Yokogawa's global network of 86 companies spans 56 countries. Founded in 1915, the US$4 billion company conducts cutting-edge research and innovation. Yokogawa ( is engaged in the industrial automation and control (IA), test and measurement, and other businesses segments. The IA segment plays a vital role in a wide range of industries including oil, chemicals, natural gas, power, iron and steel, pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals, and food.