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Real-world solutions for real-world measurement needs

Based in Kajaani in northeast Finland, Measurepolis brings together a cluster of high-tech measurement specialists from the business and academic worlds – focusing on areas such as optical and microwave measurement systems, wireless instrumentation, and embedded solutions. Companies that have used the centre's facilities include Metso Automation, Ponsse, and Sunit.

Many of the activities at Measurepolis are linked to the forest products industry, with development projects under way at the moment studying and testing systems for pulp and paper manufacturing processes, for example, and measuring the inner properties of wood.

Measurepolis has developed a new testing environment for measuring skis.

Companies such as Metso Automation, Ponsse, and Raute have all benefited from Measurepolis input in developing successful new products for the global marketplace.

Measurement methods for environmental and sports applications are seen as future growth areas – and Measurepolis is already developing activities in these fields, including new wireless measurement systems using biosensors to monitor bioprocesses and human physiology.

Excellent testing facilities

The University of Oulu's Measurement and Sensor Laboratory (MILA), based at Measurepolis, has been particularly active in research related to forest products applications.

To smooth the way for transferring research results into day-to-day business operations, and enable companies to test the applicability of devices and methods under true operating conditions, MILA operates an In-Line Pulp Circulation Laboratory.

A wireless measurement system for measuring vibrations three-dimensionally inside paper rolls during papermaking has been developed by MILA under the Measurepolis umbrella.

This allows researchers and companies to carry out real-time measurements on pulp with a consistency of up to 15%, and features full industry-scale pipework so that actual process instruments can be installed as needed.

MILA also has a 24-metre test track for measuring the performance of log-handling equipment, capable of running at speeds up to 6.5 m/s, equivalent to those used in sawmills and harvesters.

Electronic applications

The Kajaani University of Applied Science, for its part, operates a facility at Measurepolis for testing measurement and other electronic devices under a full range of real-life conditions.

This is fitted with equipment for simulating vibration and temperature-related and mechanical stress – enabling the facility to handle EMC testing and the various operational testing programmes called for when developing new devices required to operate in extreme operating conditions.

One company to have made extensive use of these facilities is Sunit, which produces state-of-the-art on-board computers for vehicles and automatic vehicle location systems, and has concentrated its product development, testing, and final assembly locally.

> Risto Oikari
(Published in High Technology Finland )