My Ohmart Years 1975-2000

After graduating from Ohio University's engineering school in 1963, I joined INDUSTRIAL NUCLEONICS [IN] in Columbus Ohio.
IN opened my eyes to a new world of industrial products that could
save process customers raw materials and energy, plus increase process uptime and product quality, with a return on investment [ROI] of only few years.
IN's policy was to assign new graduate engineers to field service for about two years, before sending them to engineering or other home office departments.
This provided new engineers first hand experience on how IN's products were used in paper mill conditions and how mill personel used these systems and the service challenges in harsh paper mill environments.
I used these real-world field experiences over and over again throughout my engineering and sales career.

In 1975, my good friend Denny King invited me to visit Cincinnati and Ohmart where he had been working for a year after leaving IN. Cincinnati offered unique history and culture.
During our visit Ohmart's owner asked if I worked at IN.
Ohmart offered me an engineering position immediately without a job application, the IN name was magic. Ohmart manufactured beta gauge [web] scanning measurement systems
custom designed for customer's needs.

During my first year with Ohmart, I suggested a design for a standard software configurable beta gauge [web] scanning system using Intel's new Single Board Computer 80/10 BOARD with Intel 8080 CPU micro-processors.

Ohmart's micro-processor based beta gauge system [the first micro-processor based scanning beta gauge offered for sale by any company in the world] named WEBART MICRO 2000 system started production and shipments in 1977. Also in 1977, Ohmart's WEBART 1000 analog non-scanning was announced for small width web lines.

Ohmart owned a small web scanning measurement company in Zurich Switzerland called HMB. In 1977, I traveled to Zurich to demo Ohmart's new WEBART MICRO 3000 system for small paper machine applications.
HMB marketed Ohmart's Webart 3000 console with their web scanner in Europe for small [<100 ton/day] paper machines.

Ohmart's web systems Sales Manager Denny King, sold over 250, Webart 2000 and 3000 systems from 1977 to 1987. Denny King found an excellent market for web measurement scanners [no console] to OEM plastic extruder manufacturers.   

In 1982, I was appointed Director of Engineering with a staff of 35 engineers and physicists.

WEBART 2000 and 3000 systems were used to scan [traverse] paper and plastic film lines up to 300 inches wide. But customers with narrow lines only required a non-scanning or "single-point" web measurement system.  In 1986, Ohmart engineering updated the 1977 Webart 1000 with the micro processor measurement system from the industrial process [density, level, scale] product line for the modern WEBART MICRO 1000 system for single-point web measurements with small C-frames.

In 1987, Ohmart's engineering department developed an advanced WEBART 9000 web measurement and control system with touch screen video and Ethernet Smart web scanners and 16 web sensor combinations.
Ohmart's WEBART 9000 system was highlighted in CONVERTING MAGAZINE.

In 1988, Ohmart's engineering department redesigned Ohmart's Mill Roll Scanner system with the micro processor measurement system from the industrial process [density, level, scale] product line. This new WEBART 8000 system measures the density variations of a finished roll of plastic film.

Ohmart continued development of new web measurement and control systems and in 1992 Ohmart offered system using a personal computer named CONCEPT ONE.
Ohmart's eight major web senor technologies offered customers a wide range of MEASUREMENT options.
Concept One offered advanced process measurement and process control systems for low throughput web processes, where online measurements had not been economically justifed previously.

In 1994, Ohmart sold their Webart and Concept One product lines to Measurex Corp., thus ending my 31 year history servicing, designing and selling online web measurement systems.

In addition to web measurement systems, Ohmart made non-contact WEIGHT SCALES,  DENSITY and LEVEL gauges using Cs-137 and Co-60 gamma sources for non-contact process measurments of industrial process systems.

During the 1980s, Ohmart engineering developed a totally unique MOISTART 5000 system with Cf-252 neutron and Cs-137 gamma sources for on-line measurement of the bulk [not just surface] moisture [and fiber weight] of wood chips flowing into a pulp mill digester.

Ohmart engineering updated Ohmart's Motor-Driven Tank Senor [MDTS], in 1985, with Ohmart's digital processors and the new product called SMART SCAN was used to measure the interface of mult-density materials in a closed tank. One important SMART SCAN application was on Alkylation units used in petroleum refineries. Ohmart sold SMART SCANs directly to refineries and OEMed the SMART SCAN to UOP for their refinery customers.

All Ohmart's products measured industrial process parameters without contacting the process material.
Ohmart's products were known as the UNTOUCHABLES.

In 1984, HRI [Hydrocarbon Research Incorporated] contacted Ohmart to provide special level and density measurements for their new H-OIL PROCESS to be constructed at a Texaco refinery in Convent La.
The H-Oil process reactor tower steel [300mm or 12in] walls and therefore traditional measurement systems could not be used. Ohmart engineering designed special source holders with six Cs-137 sources on one cable for this H-Oil application.
In addition, for the first time Ohmart used a high sensitivity "NaI scintillation" RADIATION DETECTORS for H-Oil's very important density and level measurements.
NAI SCINTILLATION DETECTORS for difficult density measurements because standard with Ohmart in 1988, with the development of density Scintillation detectors to replace ion chamber detectors. These high sensitivity scintillation detectors reduced the required source activity [mCi], reduced stray radiation fields and provided the customer higher meaurement performance.
Ohmart's continued to provide special level and density systems for the H-Oil process not only at TEXACO/CONVENT LA. in 1985, but to SynCrude/Canada in 1986, TONEN/JAPAN in 1994, AGIP/Italy in 1996 and Solvnaft/Slovakia in 1999. In 1985, I presented a paper at a H-Oil conference in Canada about using Nucleonic Instrumentation on H-Oil reactors.
Starting with the Tonen H-Oil installation in Japan [1994,] all density detectors used Ohmart's HART digital technology. Ohmart's HART digital technology provided direct access to hazardous area field mounted density detectors for setup and service directy from the customer's non-hazardous area control room, without additional control room equipment.

In 1988, I was asked to create and manage Ohmart's International Division for sales, marketing and service of Ohmart's products outside the USA and Canada. Ohmart's international Division staff consisted of Luis Santiago and Steve Brandenburg, both with extensive Ohmart field service experience on Ohmart products. Ohmart's International Division partnered with manufacturer representatives in 25 major countries in Europe, Asia and South America.

Ohmart was presented three national and state E-AWARDS for Excellence in Exporting

National E-Award from President Clinton in 1992
National E-Star Award from President Bush in 2000 [only one of five E-Star Awards were given in 2000]
Ohio E-Award from Governor Voinovich in 1998

These national and Ohio exporting E-Awards were for all Ohmart employees and Ohmart's sales/service reps around the world, who made Ohmart's international division very successfull.

Ohmart had very high standards for dealing with customers using three principals:

1. "do not lie to a customer, period"

2. "show the customer that THEY are not forgotten"

3. "document everything"


rev 12/18