In-Machine Detector Listens for Air Leaks

An innovative sound detector mounts inside a PET blow molder to catch air leaks that compromise bottle quality or productivity.

An innovative sound detector mounts inside a PET blow molder to catch air leaks that compromise bottle quality or productivity. The LeakMonitor from Air Logic Power Systems (ALPS) Inc., Milwaukee, utilizes an ultrasonic detector head and acoustic waveguide to monitor the sound signature of individual cavities to detect air leaks from both machine components and blown bottles. The system minimizes air consumption by identifying problem cavities and performs predictive maintenance for internal o-rings and seals. It also monitors stretch-rod seals, compensation gaskets, exhauster supply valves, and blowing nozzles. The LeakMonitor ejects bottles with gross holes or finish defects and enables use of higher amounts of post-consumer resin in carbonated soft-drink bottles by monitoring for holes in the feet. The device is designed for reheat machines with up to 40 cavities. It costs under $40,000.