tesa SE

Design of a High Precision Thickness Inline Control System

Description of the company
tesa SE is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of technical adhesive tapes and selfadhesive system solutions (more than 7,000 products) for industrial and professional customers as well as end consumers. Since 2001, tesa SE (4,450 employees) has been a wholly owned affiliate of Beiersdorf AG (whose products include NIVEA, Eucerin, and la prairie). Applications for various industrial sectors, such as the automotive industry, the electronics sector (e.g. smartphones, tablets), printing and paper, building supply, and security concepts for effective brand and product protection, account for about three-quarters of the tesa Group’s sales (2017: 1,257.8 million euros). tesa also partners with the pharmaceuticals industry to develop medicated patches. tesa earns just under one-quarter of its sales in the consumer area, where 300 products for end consumers make working in the home and the office easier.


Initial situation
Currently area weight measuring systems are state of the art for inline measurement systems in coating lines. As long as the density of the film stays constant the thickness of the product can be determined. For foamed layers with expanded micro voids and variable density the thickness cannot be monitored inline and the process is difficult to control.

The product must be produced within a narrow tolerance band of thickness and/or density with high precision. Commercially available standard inline control systems using i.e. shading sensors or air pressure sensors lack of precision.  

Aims of the project
Provide a high precision inline control concept for a selected adhesive tape product assortment and a selected production line. This includes the setup of the requirement profile, selecting a suitable measuring technology, sensor type and supplier and proposing the corresponding hardware and a concept for system integration. Optionally experiments in our technology center shall confirm the concept and show its robustness on one of our pilot lines.  

The project will be executed in close cooperation with the lab „Lamination, Converting & Physical Systems” that is part of the tesa technology center with over 90 different technological processing methods. The technology center is part of the tesa R&D. Some of the test lines are similar but smaller compared to production lines and can optionally used for tests of sensors and test setup´s.
A basic technology and supplier overview can be provided by our experts. A starting point can be proposed but own ideas of the team are welcome. To our knowledge ready to use systems are not commercially available. Suitable sensors can be sourced. For system integration a mechanical setup has to be designed and a system to process and display the data must be designed.

Target group
The following skills will be especially challenged by the project: mechanical engineering, physics & optics, statistical process control, project management, data processing, mechatronics and electronics.

Please reserve these dates:

  • 17 October: Information event with te companies, from 10am to 12pm, mainbuilding A; LuK
  • 24 October: Kick-off event, from 2pm to 6pm (obligatory attendance)
  • 27 October and 3 November: Project management course, full day (obligatory attendance)
  • Order clarification meeting: Mon 29-10-2018, 13:00 - 15:00 Uhr, tesa SE, Hugo-Kirchberg-Str. 1, 22848 Norderstedt