Optomax Image Analysis Products for Science & Industry  

SpeckCheck 2 Dirt / Ink / Stickies Counter

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SpeckCheck 2 dirt counter
  • Detects Dirt, Ink and other contaminants in Pulp and Paper
  • Comprehensive measurements include Speck Area, Diameter and Shape
  • Conforms to TAPPI methods T 213, T277, T437 and T 563
  • Displays detected objects and full grayscale image
  • Scanned regions adjustable for circular and rectangular samples
  • Multiple configurations optimized for each application
  • Definable size classification and statistical summary
  • Direct OLE links to Excel spreadsheets


SpeckCheck 2 is a dirt counter system that combines the latest scanning technology with state of the art software to provide a versatile paper inspection tool for Research and Quality Control.

The system quantifies Dirt, Ink, Stickies, Fibers, Shives, Mottle and Print quality in Pulp, Paper and Paperboard

SpeckCheck 2 conforms to TAPPI methods T 213, T437 (Area), T 563 (EBA) for Dirt counts and T277 for Stickies.


The SpeckCheck 2 dirt counter is developed under Perceptive Instruments quality management system which has gained ISO 9001:2000 and TickIT (Issue 5) approval from a UKAS accredited certification body.

Functionality & Ease of Use

Paper samples are placed face down on the desk-top scanner which links to the system computer. SpeckCheck 2 scans SpeckCheck 2 dirt counterthe sample to capture a high resolution image showing detected dirt, ink or shives highlighted in red. These objects are rapidly measured and classified into a size distribution table which is displayed on screen.

The SpeckCheck 2 dirt counter program can be accessed at user level, or supervisor level which is password protected. Supervisors have unrestricted access to the program allowing them to create configurations optimized for each application or test procedure.

In routine use, a single key press or click of the mouse starts the scanning and measurement cycle. The captured image of the sample is held in the computer’s memory allowing any part to be displayed on screen. You can pan and scroll to any part of the image and zoom in to examine any detected object in detail. Furthermore, measurements for an individual object are shown by pointing to it with the cursor.

Measurements & Results

SpeckCheck 2 dirt counter measures area, diameter, length, width, equivalent black area, gray level intensity and many other parameters within seconds. Special image processing algorithms ensure accurate detection and measurement even where there are variations in paper brightness and formation.

SpeckCheck 2 classifies each particle into a customized size distribution table having up to 50 classes in any progression. Unwanted objects such as shives or fibers can be screened out according to their size, shape or intensity. Size distribution tables are available for standard test methods for visible dirt and you can create others to suit your procedures. SpeckCheck 2 also provides statistical analysis based upon accumulated data including, total count, parts per million, scanned area and count per sq.m.

Results may be printed directly in user-formatted tables including a Title and Headings such as Machine number, Grade, Reel etc. SpeckCheck 2 is closely integrated with Microsoft Excel allowing automatic transfer of data to the spreadsheet. This offers complete flexibility regarding tabular and graphical presentation of results. Data may also be saved in other industry standard file formats for transfer to alternative spreadsheets, statistics programs or information management systems for further analysis.

SpeckCheck 2 Dirt Counter Technical Specification

Scanning method

Flat bed scanner with 600-dpi optical resolution

Detection system

Center-surround filter, or Binary mode

Image window

Zoom, Pan & Scroll facility for visual observation of paper surface, with  digital detected Dirt / Ink overlay

Video mode

True for Dirt / Ink, Invert for Stickies

Sample illumination

Reflected illumination standard. Transmitted illumination optional

Measurement Parameters

Equivalent Black Area (EBA) PPM, Dirt count / sq. m, Count precision.

Size distribution by Speck number or PPM (up to 50 classes).  

Additional measurements include Area, Diameter, Fiber length, Fiber Width, Aspect Ratio, Circularity Object discrimination by Shape or Size

Minimum detectable speck size

0.002 sq. mm at 600 dpi.

Measurement frames  

Circular & Rectangular

Maximum sample size 

8.5” x 14” (scanner dependent)

Approximate Measurement times for 6” circular handsheet

12 seconds at 600 dpi, 12 seconds at 400 dpi, 8 seconds at 150 dpi


Measured data can be linked to Microsoft Excel for further data processing, graphics display and report generation.

Operating system

Microsoft Windows 98 / NT4 / 2000 / XP

Computer (Minimum)

 733 MHz Pentium, 128 MB RAM, 1.6 GB / 1.44 MB drives,  SVGA 800 x 600 Graphics, Mouse

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