Canadian Biomass Magazine

Finna Sensors launches new OMNIR moisture sensor for biomass

September 3, 2020
By Finna Sensors

Manufacturing is growing more demanding but the technology measuring your process does not keep up. Hardware of a bygone era can get a new model name every few years, but may just be the same thing in a slightly different package. Finna Sensors recognized this problem, and changed the status quo, by introducing the most innovative, data-driven, near infrared (NIR) moisture sensor ever produced: the all-new OMNIR On-Line Near Infrared Sensor.

After growing their position as the market leader in lumber moisture measurement, Finna Sensors sought a new challenge. In 2015, they acquired a company called Moisture Register Products who, along with their competitors, had a mindset of hardware being the focal point of their measuring technology. All the players in the field measure moisture, and other constituents, using near infrared (NIR) – a method that uses reflected light to measure the surface of a multitude of applications, including biomass. The NIR technique is an excellent one and has proven to be one of the best methods for on-line, continuous and non-destructive measurement.

After years surveying the needs of customers, Finna Sensors has developed their new OMNIR On-Line Near Infrared Sensor. It will change the NIR sensor landscape by thinking to the future of manufacturing, where data is king. During the development process, Finna Sensors created core principles to make the best sensor possible for the pressures that biomass manufacturing plants face:

1. Technology must take advantage of rapid innovation


OMNIR was designed to be regularly improved. No more waiting years for the next innovation – OMNIR software can be upgraded via the cloud, negating the need for an on-site technician or sending in the sensor for the latest updates. Finna Sensors can make regular improvements, based on the needs of their customers, at the speed of now.

2. Technology must be relatable to humans

All of this developed technology needed to be easy-to-use. OMNIR was built on a Microsoft platform and SQL database, making interfaces and integration more familiar. Finna Sensors kept the technology relatable to make start-up, training and adoption more efficient.

3. Data drives success

Data is vital to any operation, but not all data is created equal. It must be actionable, not just droves of information that cannot be deciphered. The system has robust factor floor integration and has built-in Internet of Things (IoT) functionality. OMNIR derived its name from omni, meaning all-sensing – not only does it focus on measuring your product accurately, it also continuously measures itself: 19 points of internal sensor health to ensure greater up-time and making maintenance more predictable.

Despite data being the centerpiece, hardware was also kept in mind. OMNIR was built with a modular design, keeping the most sensitive electronics away from the line, and allowing the sensor to perform in the harshest conditions, right out of the box. Additionally, using their patented TrueOptics technique, the OMNIR measures the reflected light after it hits the product sample, decreasing the effect of outside influences such as dust, colour variations, vibration, etc.

Finna Sensors is building for a networked future where data is shared between systems, and used by humans, to make operational decisions. They are excited to work with companies that have a shared vision of performing higher together. For more information, contact Finna Sensors at

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