Determine Your Unique Test “Factor” Number to Ensure Consistency, Reduce Test Paper Usage and Improve Your Quality Control Process.
SITUATION: Norman Tool’s standard Wear Test Paper was extremely consistent for over 30 years, but recent changes in the paper industry has forced our suppliers to make changes beyond our control. For paper manufacturers, meeting today’s government and environmental requirements, while maintaining quality, consistency and profit margins, and meeting the customer’s expectations, has become a difficult juggling act. Their variables include the wood sources and types, other cellulose sources (plants, recycled paper, etc.), chemical vs mechanical pulping processes, acids, bleaching agents, de-inking processes, chemical additives (chalk, clay, etc.), whitening / brightening components, etc.
We understand these challenges in the paper industry, and have always tested each batch of test paper we receive. Our tests determine a “Factor” number for you to use to make your testing more consistent. The Factor is a deviation from our historical standard of 1.00. A Factor higher than 1.00 means the test paper is slightly more abrasive, so it requires fewer cycles and less test paper. Conversely, a Factor lower than 1.00 means the test paper is slightly less abrasive, so it requires more cycles and more test paper.
This Factor adjustment system has worked well for many years, but the previously mentioned changes in the paper industry have created some new and surprising results for our test paper that require additional testing and verification. First, the changes made by our longest-running test paper supplier resulted in a 0.70 Factor, which was just too low for a long-term solution. After trying unsuccessfully to resolve this situation, we implemented an exhaustive search for a new test paper supplier. With the changes in the industry, no company could match our original 1.00 standard, but we found a producer that can consistently provide test paper with a 0.90 Factor.
ISSUE: As it has always been, the 0.90 Factor is based on our internal testing done on a Test Plate that uses an Organic Paint Coating. In the past, this Factor could be applied consistently to other coatings, but with today’s test paper, this isn’t always the case. We have learned that our new test paper is more abrasive for certain types of coatings, earning up to a 2.00 Factor and requiring less cycles and less test paper.
RESOLUTION: To eliminate any potential inconsistency in your testing, you should develop Test Plates that use your exact coatings and determine your “Standard” wear test number. Then, when using a new test paper, or to confirm your test paper, you can determine your own unique Factor for making adjustments. See instructions below.