The M/K 3D Formation Analyzer: A Complete Structural Analysis

MK Formation Tester
Formation, Flocs, Low Density pockets
Measurement of Formation Index, Flocs, low density pockets, and internal standard deviation.
Formation Output1

The M/K 3D Formation Tester model 1200: The most accurate optical formation Tester available.

** NEW IN 2020:  Scan with either white light, or use our optional INFRARED FILTER.

The M/K 3D Formation Tester measures the formation in paper, fiberglass, tissues and towels, and a host of other sheet materials.  In addition to measuring the formation index, the M/K also accurately measures the defects and flocs inside the sheet, as well as low density pockets, basis weight, and internal standard deviation.   Unlike camera systems, our device uses a laser-type focused beam of light to accurately measure the optical density each pixel of the sheet.   Test all grades of paper: bond, liner board, recycled, copy paper, coated papers, colored papers, or any other grade. In a single test, the M/K formation tester scans a large 8"x10" (20cm x 28cm) area, with each pixel measured independently.  No other bench top formation tester can match this area of scanning, as camera systems a limited to approximately 1"x1" area scans with light-reflection issues.  The M/K Formation Analyzer uses an independent pixel scanning method that avoids light scattering issues which occur in all camera systems.  We also include a unique feature that allows user to change the optical sensitivity from a low setting to an ultra high setting, allowing you to filter out the less significant flocs and sheet defects.   In addition to transmission analysis, we offer an optional surface scanning set of optics that can characterize the surface of your sheet.  Compare wire side Vs. felt side easily and reliably.

New in 2020: We have doubled the resolution of our scanning with our latest "high resolution" technology.  The high resolution now scans with unmatched resolution, including up to 128 different sizes of flocs.

Some industry patent references include:

1. Xerox Corporation, # US Patent #5,935,689, “Printing Method”.

2. Proctor and Gamble, US Patent #6,114,471, “Strengthening paper”.

3. Kimberly Clark, US Patent# US 7,258,758,  “Strengthening nonwovens”.

4. Rayonier, US Patent#8,497,410 “Method for making absorbent products”.

5. Newpage, US Patent #8,727,528, “Glossy recording medium for inkjet printing”.

Copyright © M/K Systems 1969-2020

The Precision Optical Scanning Design

This M/K Formation Tester scans your sheet over an 8" x 12", measuring each pixel independently.   This precise scan records thousands of different optical densities in your sheet, and generates the well-known M/K Formation Index.   This Formation Index ranks your paper's formation to easily rank your sheet on a scale from 1 to over 100.    The measurements include the M/K Index, floc data, low density data, and optical basis weight.  This device is so sensitive that it actually measures basis weight optically.   Our device is well accepted by the industry and has many patent references and publications.

Separating it from Camera Systems

The instrument scans a large area of 8"x11" in a single scan, something no other optical device can match.   Our device is so accurate, it actually correlates with basis weights.   Each paper is scanned for its density at the start of each test.  Best of all, the M/K 3D formation analyzer is not limited by camera system problems of focal length problems, lens curvature issues, or light-bouncing.  By analyzing each pixel independently, the M/K avoids the "cloudy light" effects endemic in all camera systems.   Our focused light beam channels through a finite aperture to scan each pixel independently.  This accuracy is not attainable in other light-based systems.

Correlating M/K Data with other physical properties

Correlations with the M/K Formation Index
The MK formation index typically correlates well with other physical test such as tensile tests.   The higher the MK formation index, the stronger (generally) is your paper.

The M/K Optical Basis Weight measurement correlates strongly with actual basis weight within a given grade of paper.   This allows you to measure your sheet density optically.  Such precision is not available in camera systems. 

Additionally, the MK reflection roughness measurements correlate well with print mottle. 

The device now offers an enhanced and extremely thorough scan, with greater discrimination than earlier versions. It can analyze via transmission samples from 5 grams/m2 to sheets greater than 600 grams/m2.   The instrument now also offers an enhanced light and optical source, which allows operators to easily scan linerboard materials and other dense grades of paper.