Industrial Quality Control with Fast Terahertz Systems

Non-contact inspection even on fast conveyor belts

  • Plastics, paper, ceramics, … are transparent in the THz range
  • Terahertz techniques enable 100% inspection in production lines
  • Ultrafast methods achieve data rates up to 100 MHz
  • Recommended systems: TeraFlash pro, TeraFlash smart

Properties and applications of terahertz waves

Terahertz waves feature unique properties. They pass through many non-conducting materials, including paper, cardboard, plastics, wood, ceramics and composite structures. This opens up a wide field of applications in quality and process control, taking advantage of novel measurement techniques that are inherently safe, fast and contact-free. Inspection systems work either in transmission or reflection, depending on the measurement task.  

A promising application is quality control of folded cardboard boxes that are used for pharmaceuticals. European legislation dictates that pharmaceuticals may only be sold with patient information leaflets enclosed. In proof-of-principle measurements, TOPTICA’s researchers have shown that the presence, or absence, of a package insert could be detected unambiguously even for samples moving at more than 20 meters per second.  

Fast terahertz systems also lend themselves to the observation of dynamic processes, such as drying or curing of materials. The temporal resolution can even be shorter than 1 µs.

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