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Original Press Release

Flatness Measurement System from NextSense Makes Chinese Steel Producer a World Leader

Press release date: April 8, 2014

Optical measurement technology safeguards quality of high-speed rails

Graz – The latest production line of one of China's largest steel manufacturers is equipped with an innovative optical flatness measurement system which was developed in Austria. The order, which is now confirmed, comprises a method for checking high-speed train rails originating from the SURFILES product range of the Austrian company NextSense. This allows maximum precision while meeting the high safety requirements placed on high-speed rails and offers the unique possibility of also determining the flatness of the ends – a crucial advantage for the manufacturer, which wants to evolve into the biggest producer of rails in the world. With this deal, NextSense is now continuing to expand its position as the leading innovator for optical profile, surface and flatness measurement systems in its most important sales market, China.

The Austrian specialist in optical measurement processes, NextSense GmbH, today announced another major international order for a product from its successful SURFILES range: One of the biggest steel manufacturers in China is ordering a stationary system for measuring the flatness of high-speed train rails. This order follows just a few months after a major Turkish steel producer ordered a system for surface inspection from the same product range. This means that NextSense can continue to expand its position as the leading international innovator when it comes to optical measurement systems for quality assurance in steel production and further reinforce its position in China – the rapidly growing sales market which is already the company's biggest.

Right to the end....
In terms of the reasons that prompted the customer to opt for a flatness measurement system (FMG) from NextSense, Christoph Bhm, Marketing Manager of NextSense, says: "Our stationary flatness measurement system offered a persuasive choice thanks to its innovative measurement & calibration method. Cutting-edge light section technology and sophisticated algorithms enable measurements even right up to the ends of the object being measured. A separate system for analysis of the ends can thus be dispensed with. Combined with slim and rugged mechanics, this results in enhanced product quality and falling product costs." Specifically, with the FMG systems from NextSense laser lines are projected onto the object to be measured, recorded by cameras and converted into a two-dimensional profile graph. The horizontal and vertical flatness of the long product is determined in the process. Subsequent to the measurement, an automatic classification of the results according to defined testing standards is carried out.

It was in particular the – globally unique – possibility of also measuring the ends of long (steel) products in one measurement process that won over the customer. In the next few years, it wants to become the world's largest producer of train rails – a target that it will only be possible to meet using production methods which combine maximum efficiency with the greatest precision. With this in mind, the decision of the customer to equip its latest and state-of-the-art production line in the Chinese province of Sichuan with an FMG from the SURFILES range is thus also understandable.

China calling
In China, NextSense has successfully managed in recent years to gain itself an outstanding reputation for the quality of its optical measurement systems. While initially the company appeared on the scene as a supplier for renowned plant construction firms, satisfied customers quickly meant that today the company offers complete systems. This market is now already one of the company's two biggest areas for sales – and this market is set to soar. Christoph Bhm states: "China is the world's largest steel manufacturer and automaker and the regional high-speed railway network is also expanding rapidly. In all three markets, we persuade customers with innovative measurement systems for profiles and surfaces from our SURFILES and CALIPRI product lines."

About NextSense GmbH (status: April 2014)
NextSense GmbH offers laser-based, contact-free profile measurement devices and surface inspection facilities for a broad range of industries in the rapidly growing market of optical sensors. In addition to numerous renowned companies in the railroad-traffic and railway supply sectors (including DB, BB, SBB, Siemens, Stadler, Bombardier, and Alstom), NextSense's customer portfolio also includes automotive and steel companies such as VW, Daimler, Magna-Steyr and voestalpine. The high-tech company is a spin-off of the Austrian research organization Joanneum Research and currently employs 45 staff members at its site in Graz.

Contact NextSense:
NextSense GmbH
Straganger Strae 295
8053 Graz, Austria
T +43 / (0)316 / 232400 – 0
F +43 / (0)316 / 232400 – 599


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