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Monitoring blow molding for air leaks
The LeakMonitor® device uses an ultrasonic sensor to continuously monitor the blow molding process for air leaks from machine components and defective bottles. The new capability enables leak detection at production speeds typical for state-of-the-art blowmolding equipment.
Excessive air consumption due to leaks within blowmolding equipment is a costly ongoing concern for blowmolders, which can result in thousands of dollars in wasted compressed air and production downtime, annually.
When pressurized air passes through an orifice, it generates an ultrasonic signal which the LeakMonitor® technology reduces to an electronic waveform. Deviation of the waveform from predetermined parameters can be used to identify defects in the product or in machine components.
During the normal reheat stretch blowing process, the LeakMonitor® device listens for leaky bottles, tracks them through the machine and triggers an eject mechanism when they are in the correct position. In addition, routine background noise is monitored and graphed. If the background noise reaches an unacceptable level the ultrasonic sensor can trigger an alarm.
Additional features of the upgraded LeakMonitor® device include many automated calibration features including a display of the relative severity of air leaks and where they are located on the blow wheel.
Prior to the introduction of recycled PET, the incidence of holes in PET CSD bottles was minimal. As the percentage of rPET increased—coupled with the push towards hyper light weighting—the occurrence of holes increased 10 to 1000 times due to contaminants in certain resin grades.
The LeakMonitor® device is a powerful tool to help ensure that rPET usage does not result in defective bottles leaving the operation. This is accomplished by monitoring the blowing process for leaks in the base or sidewall (usually a result of contamination or high-stretch ratios), for short shots and for other sealing surface defects.
Additionally, PTI’s LeakMonitor® is an ideal device to identify and locate leaks from valves, faulty lines, compensation gaskets, stretch rod seals, misaligned tooling, etc.
The LeakMonitor® is backed by PTI’s decades of blow molding process knowledge and its position as one of the world’s preeminent engineering consultants for plastic packaging.
If you would like to know more about LeakMonitor® please contact us.