Testing: New Test & Inspection Systems for Tamper-Evident Caps
At the recent K 2019 show in Germany, Packsys Global of Switzerland showed off three new systems for quality control of tamper-evident (TE) closures such as beverage caps. Packsys Global is part of Brückner Group (offices in Portsmouth, N.H., brueckner-usa.com).
New Packsys Global capLAB inline pull-off tester for tamper-evident caps.
• New capLAB (pictured) is said to be the first fully automatic, inline pull-off tester for beverage caps. It measures the pull-off strength of the cap’s TE band. Test frequency can be programmed by time or number of caps produced; and caps can be selected at random or, for example, from each cavity of an injection or compression mold, or caps that were processed on a specific mandrel of the folding/slitting machine. If used inline with a slitting machine, capLAB can feed back test data to adjust knife-temperature settings to keep the pull-off values within the target range. In cases where the root cause of poor TE band performance is linked to a specific mold cavity or spindle on a slitting machine, the test system will report that information to the operator. In case of a major quality defect, the tester can also be set to shut down the molding machine.
The compact pull-off tester can be used in combination with a vision inspection system. Packsys Global says most plastic beverage caps are inspected with inline vision systems, but these do not reveal problems that can affect the essential pull-off functionality of the TE band. Offline laboratory checks of pull-off strength may allow as many as 1 million closures to pass untested between sampling procedures on very high-speed lines.
• Packsys Global has joined with IMD Vista to introduced a vision system for inline slitting inspection. The new system is integrated into a PackSys slitting/folding machine and allows each closure to be inspected prior to folding to see if the slitting has been done correctly. The system can detect damage to the slitting knife and incomplete slitting (“spiral cut”). Performing the check prior to folding overcomes obstacles to evaluating slitting quality after folding with typical vision systems.
• Also new is an integrated pinhole detector, which is installed inside a Packsys Global slitting machine. Conventional detectors are placed at the entrance to the slitting machine, which takes up valuable floorspace and makes it challenging to track any defective closures through the machine, the company says. Until now, a number of closures before and after the defective cap reportedly had to be rejected to be sure of rejecting the lone “bad” closure. The integrated system now tracks and rejects only the single closure with the pinhole, thereby saving both floorspace and reducing product wastage.
• Packsys Global also introduced its cloud-based smartcube program for providing predictive and preventive maintenance tools for its entire product line. Smartcube is at the core of the company’s Industry 4.0 program and is being introduced to key customers for evaluation and further development.
Packaging, industrial, continuous-extrusion, accumulator-head, injection-blow, stretch-blow, EPET, foam, sandwich co-injection—the blow molding news was wide ranging at K 2019.
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