Volume Measurement of Household Paper Products

Detect excess raw materials in rolls of household paper products

Vision system capturing 3D image of toilet paper rolls to measure volume

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Consumer paper products sold in rolls, such as toilet tissue and paper towels, are soft and easily deformed. Manufacturers want each roll to contain the precise amount of raw materials specified to avoid waste. Even a small systematic deviation that adds extra paper to each roll can add up to a significant expense over time if not detected. This problem has worsened with the advent of coreless paper products, which have no stiff cardboard tube in the center because new types of machinery can wind the tissue without requiring a core. The dimensions of the resulting roll can vary significantly more because the core provided the stiffness needed for product consistency. Dimensional measurements with jigs or gauges are unreliable with such soft materials. The easiest way to detect when rolls are the wrong size is through visual inspection. But the varying dimensions of rolls that have the same amount of material make this difficult.

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Cognex has several 2D and 3D machine vision systems that can visually gauge even soft products with high accuracy. For such a difficult application, where shape variations can hide significant differences in the amount of paper in the roll, a 3D solution is best.

Cognex In-Sight 3D-L4000 vision systems are as easy to use as 2D vision systems, but 3D laser displacement technology powered by a set of sophisticated 3D vision tools can accurately measure every dimension of the roll as it rotates, without requiring any potentially deforming physical contact. The 3D vision tools then accurately calculate the roll’s volume and the amount of paper it contains.


  • Accurately measure paper roll volume without contact
  • Save money by ensuring efficient paper use


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