BOW Industries, Incorporated
Instrumentation Tape Automatic Certification Station
Model 6320


Cleans, precision stacks, and certifies tape in one pass
User adjustable dropout definition
Exceeds all current instrumentation tape test specifications 
Choice of two test frequencies from 200 KHz - 2 MHz (standard or high coercivity tape)
Handles 1/2 inch and 1 inch reels from 10.5 through 16 inches in diameter
Precision locating and locking hubs
Available on 7, 14 or 28 track configurations
Solid ferrite record & reproduce heads with 3000 hour head life warranty (prorated)
Precise and gentle handling of your valuable tapes
Selectable "program tension wind" which conforms to government specification L14-2.

The BOW Model 6320 is the answer for today's stringent data recording requirements. As the industry continues to strive for greater packing densities, the risk of losing critical data to unreliable magnetic tape is of increasing concern. The solution is the BOW Model 6320 Automatic Instrumentation Tape Certification Station (ITACS). With its flexibility of testing tape to any of the current tape specifications (government or manufacturer) the 6320 is the sure choice for tape certification.

Four automatically advancing tissue stations and an operator retractable sapphire blade, which burnishes the tape in both forward and reverse direction, facilitate superior cleaning of the tape. Located on the control panel are indicators that tell the operator when it is time to replace the sapphire cleaning blade.

Precision stacking by the automatically engaging large diameter packwheel insures that no protruding edges of the tape will contact either reel flange.

The 6320 employs a read after write certification process. The full width solid ferrite record head and the solid ferrite playback heads conform to IRIG spacing and have a 3000-hour head life warranty. User adjustable duration and threshold levels provide the user with the ability to test to any current tape specification. The 6320 dropout detection circuitry is the most advanced currently on the market, and requires no technician calibration. This system not only provides total dropouts per track, but also the more critical test of errors per any 100 feet of tape. Further advancements now allow the user the option of incorporating two BOW exclusives. The first is the Optical Inspector (800 Option) with its improved resolution, and now for the first time the opportunity for the user to actually grade tape for various recording applications.


Since its' beginning in 1971, BOW Industries has found itself in a unique position of being able to provide support for the magnetic tape user. With constant innovation, and the ability to listen to the customer's needs, BOW Industries has become the specialists in quality control of magnetic tape. BOW Industries has maintained an impressive list of industry firsts:


Invented the OPTICAL INSPECTOR to provide the customer with the ability to locate physical damage on their tape.


Individually "Programmable Track Errors per any 100 feet of tape."


First unit to provide selectable "Programmed or Constant Tension" wind.


First instrumentation tape certifier to test to all specifications.


The first instrumentation tape certifier to provide simultaneous cleaning, optical inspection, certification, and precision winding in one pass.


Dual Threshold and Duration testing, allowing for the first time to actually "Grade Tape" at the customer's facility.

In designing the Model 6320, BOW has always had the instrumentation tape user in mind. The Model 6320 is not a "spin-off" from a digital tape tester, but rather a unit designed specifically to meet today's demanding and stringent instrumentation tape requirements.


The BOW Model 6320 goes a step beyond the ordinary tape certifier by incorporating a large diameter packwheel that "squeegees" the air out between each layer of tape. The packwheel also provides a precision stack, which conforms to government specification L14-2. Each layer of tape is placed precisely on each preceding layer of tape and does not contact either reel flange, with no protruding edges.


BOW Industries' magnetic heads are designed to record and reproduce at frequencies up to 2 MHz. The record and reproduce heads are mounted on a precision plate and are factory set for tape wrap and azimuth. Azimuth is technician adjustable. The heads can easily be cleaned without removal. All BOW Industries heads conform to IRIG specifications and spacing. The 7, 14 and 28 track reproduce and full width record heads are designed to provide a minimum of 3000 hours of head life (prorated).


A limitation on errors per 100 feet is specified in GSA, DoD and tape manufacturers' criteria as an average for a given reel and is used in almost every rehabilitation center in the country. The 6320 certification system goes a step beyond the average number and determines actual errors in any 100-foot section of tape. A unique "moving bucket" circuit continuously compares 100-foot totals for each track with the respective fail criteria selected on operator accessible slide switches. The 100-foot running totals are maintained by discarding dropouts from the first 10 feet as the section length reaches 100, so there is always 90 to 100 feet under consideration. If the 100 foot total in any section of the tape reaches its fail criteria the track number and footage are recorded by the printer, and that total is reset to 0. The accumulated total for the track is not reset nor are the 100-foot totals associated with the other tracks. The printer also records the total length of the reel when the test is completed.


The 6320's unique center pin pivoted deck provides easy technician access to all transport components. Adjustments are kept to a minimum throughout the entire system. The Dropout Detection circuitry is self-calibrating, which provides consistent measurement of dropouts.


The dropout detection circuitry incorporates automatic "zero referencing" and an "automatic gain control" which allow the 6320 to produce very precise measurements of dropout activity. When duration (time) and threshold (amplitude loss) parameters are set, the 6320 considers each flux reversal and if an amplitude loss is detected and maintained for the selected duration, it is counted as a dropout and is registered on the dropout displays.


The 6320 is the only instrumentation tape certifier that is flexible enough to test to all current government and manufacturer specifications. The 6320 is available in a variety of formats, from 7 to 28 track systems, testing standard and high coercivity tapes, ranging from wideband to HDDR applications. Choose any two test frequencies from 200 KHz to 2 MHz. The 6320 represents the clear choice for today's instrumentation tape users.


Key to the BOW approach is flexibility in defining the dropout. Since different recording techniques exhibit varied reactions to a given magnitude of a signal loss, meaningful tests are tailored to recorder, data and tape in use. The BOW Model 6320 incorporates a user adjustable duration selector with time periods of 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 microseconds (5, 10, 20, 40 and 80 are also available) and a continuously variable threshold level from 0-100% (signal remaining).


The 6320 represents the most cost efficient means of rehabilitating your valuable tapes, which results in substantial savings in your tape budget. Further, the 6320 increases tape usage life, assures reliability in data recording, provides confidence in using "stored tapes", and purges your tape library of unusable tapes which could result in loss of critical data. In many cases you only get one chance to record data. Use of the BOW Model 6320 will insure that you will be recording on a good tape.



BOW Industries is fully aware of today's tape users' problems. One of the most critical, but least addressed, is the presence of physical damage to the tape itself. For example: oxide voids, pinholes, frayed, torn and stretched edges are all potential losses of critical data. In 1977 BOW Industries pioneered the idea of scanning the tape for physical damage. The 800 Series Optical Inspector is the fastest and smallest resolution tape inspector currently available. Separate adjustments can be made for sensitivity to the edges and center of the tape, ranging from .020 inches to .001 inches thus creating a most precise "look" at the physical condition of the tape.


The BOW Model 6320 meets and surpasses any specification for coincident error detection. Coincident errors are errors occurring simultaneously on more than one track on a head stack. The number of simultaneously occurring track errors are DIP switch selectable for 2, 3 or 4 tracks. Error coincident times are DIP switch selectable for 1, 2 or 4 microseconds.

TAPE GRADING (Dual Threshold) (DTD)

A new option for the 6320 is the ability to actually grade your tape. Many users face the ongoing problem of having multiple recording requirements, which places the user in the position of having to buy more than one type of tape. By incorporating two sets of duration and threshold controls, you can set the 6320 to test at two different specifications in one pass. An evaluation is made of that tape as to which application it is best suited. Rehabilitation of tape has been a concern by tape users for years. With "Tape Grading", the user finds himself in a position of being able to reuse older tapes for less stringent applications or finding that a good quality tape could be used in place of a more expensive grade of tape.


When the test has been completed, the accumulated total number of dropouts for each track is displayed until the next test is started. This option, TDR, adds the ability to print these numbers with their track locations if a permanent record is desired.



Tape Capacity

1/2 inch and 1 inch on 10 1/2, 14, 15 & 16 inch diameter reels.

Winding Tension

Selectable between programmed tension, as recommended in DoD Tape Rehabilitation Specification L14-2, or constant tension adjustable between 4 and 12 oz.


Retractable sapphire blade with four automatically advancing cleaning tissue stations for "blade and tissue" or "tissue only" cleaning in both directions.

Stack Quality

Precision - meets requirements of DoD L14-2 & 3. Accomplished by a large diameter packwheel with 180 degrees of wrap.


Automatically engages as tape moves in the forward (precision stack) direction.


100-200 ips (inches per second) in forward, 200-400 ips in reverse. Standard is 120 ips in forward and 240 ips in reverse.

Footage Counter

4 1/2 digit counter display, 1 foot resolution, .5% accuracy.


FORWARD, LOAD, CYCLE, REVERSE, STOP and program tension selectors.


One round trip from bottom reel to top and back.

Tape Low Sensing

The amount of tape left on reel is DIP switch selectable.

Tape Absence Sensing

Disengages packwheel and stops machine.

Blade Life Indicator

Three indicators showing "100-33%" remaining "32-0%" or "Replace".


Dynamic fail-safe, automatically actuated at power interruption, inadvertent shutdown during operation or when the physical end of tape is sensed.


NAB precision locating and positive locking.


Test point voltages available at the control panel. Tape deck pivots on its vertical axis for front access to all components.


76.5 inches high x 23 inches wide x 16 inches deep overall.


210 lbs. (approx.) (14 track version).


115 VAC, 60 Hz, 8 amps
220 VAC, 50 Hz, 5 amps



Number of Tracks

7 to 28 tracks in multiples of 7.

Dropout Definition Method

Read after write operation counting repetitive dropouts for low signals more than one duration in length.

Dropout Threshold Level

Continuously variable from 0 to 100% of reference signal. Indicated by a meter.

Dropout Duration

Switch selectable for 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 msec intervals (5, 10, 20, 40 and 80 msec available on request).

Test Frequencies

1 MHz for high resolution and 200 KHz for low resolution or any two frequencies between 200 KHz and 2 MHz.

Errors/100 ft. Fail Criteria

The number of dropouts per any 100 ft. length of tape with 10 feet resolution. Established separately for each channel by operator accessible slide switches.

Errors/100 ft. Fail Indication

The printer each time the Errors\100 ft. criteria is met, records tape footage and track location.

Dropout Count Display

An individual 4-digit counter display for each channel. Resetting is by a "GO" signal.



Leader Inhibit

The first and last 50-100 feet of tape will not be tested.


20 column thermal.


Full width record and multi-track playback, up to 14 tracks in one stack. Both are solid ferrite and guaranteed for 3,000 hours (prorated).

Record Driver

Adjustable current direct.

Reproduce Circuit

AGC pre-amps with fixed gain amplifiers are zero referencing and stable to within 2%.


Model 6320-7

Cleaner/Winder/Certifier for 1/2 inch reels up to 16 inches in diameter, 7 tracks (Up to 2 MHz, non-bias record, duration starting at 1 microsecond).

Model 6320-14

Cleaner/Winder Certifier for 1 inch reels up to 16 inches in diameter, 14 tracks (Up to 2 MHz, non-bias record, duration starting at 1 microsecond).

Model 862-051

Factory upgrade of customer furnished Model 632U Cleaner/Winder to Model 6320-14 Cleaner/Winder/Certifier.

Model 862-052

Factory upgrade of customer furnished Model 632U Cleaner/Winder for Model 6320-28 Cleaner/Winder/Certifier.

Suffix "R" for rack mounting may be added to the model number for no extra charge. "R" version does not include rack or cabinet, but includes rackmount kit.



Bias Record to 2 MHz.


Testing with flangeless reel.


Switchable Bias to Non-Bias Record to 2 MHz.


Erase Head - (Upstream or Downstream) D.C. erase to 50 dB (approx.) on standard coercivity tape before certifying. Choose upstream or downstream erase head.


Erase Heads - (Upstream and Downstream) D.C. erase to 50 dB (approx.) on standard coercivity tape before and after certifying.


Total Dropout Record.


Coincidental Error Detection - Detects simultaneous dropouts in any two or more tracks across the full head stack. 14 track version.


Coincidental Error Detection - Detects simultaneous dropouts in any two or more tracks across the full head stack. 28 track version.


Dual threshold and duration for tape grading. Includes extra playback head and additional DOD (Dropout Detection) electronics. Specify 14 track, 25 MIL or 50 MIL configuration.


Dual threshold and duration for tape grading. Conversion for existing 28 track certifier. Includes one 50 mil playback head, necessary hardware and cabling.


Stop Distance Selector (800 option also required) Stops machine at selected distance from either end of tape (in hundreds of feet).


Door for Tape Deck


Optical Inspector with Defect Counter/Locator for 1 inch or 1/2 inch tape. Detects edge damage to 0.10 inches and holes to 0.20 inches. Counts on individual bar graph displays for each of two 100 ft. leaders and each of four 2300 ft. sections of tape. Each display is numbered 0 through 9.


Optical Inspector with Defect Counter/Locator for 1 inch or 1/2 inch tape with printer.


Field Conversion Kit from NAB to IBM (requires CKA).


Field Conversion Kit from 1 inch to 1/2 inch NAB.


Order from

Environmental Control Inc
P.O. Box 1777
mableton, GA 30126
tel: 770-977-9448
Fax: 770-573-3629