TESTING & MEASURING: New Automated Laboratory & Thickness Sensor for PET Bottles

Custom test cell integrates multiple devices. Improved thickness sensor for bottles, preforms.

At the recent K 2016 show in Germany, Agr International Inc., Butler, Pa., introduced an automated laboratory test cell, a customized system designed for high productivity by combining multiple test devices into one compact station. It can integrate Agr’s Gawis thickness and dimensional measuring units, TL 2000 Topload tester, Combi unit for testing both fill height and topload, and PPT3000 for measuring pressure, volume expansion, and shelf-life. The cell combines up to three of these devices together with a small articulated-arm, pick-and-place robot and laboratory information-management system (LIMS) software for job management, documentation, and reporting.

Agr also brought out the MBTxt series of portable thickness gauges, which can measure plastics, glass, and aluminum containers up to 24 mm thick. They use the Hall effect, which measures precisely the distance between a magnetic probe and a target ball. It is especially well suited for measuring sharp corners, tight radii, and complex shapes. In addition to a redesigned sensor and a wider range of target balls, the new “xt” version offers two sensor options with ranges of 0-9 mm and 0-24 mm. Light enough for handheld use, these units are battery powered with an onboard datalogger and ability to transfer data via USB or RS232 connection.

Two versions are MBT7200xt with automatic storage of 100,000 values; and MBT7400xt with database storage of 240,000 values, plus real-time trending and statistical graphing of histograms and trends.