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Plastic Technologies Inc: Air leak detection for machine components, defective bottles

Plastic Technologies’ upgraded LeakMonitor device uses an ultrasonic sensor to continuously monitor the blow molding process for air leaks by listening for leaky bottles, tracking them through the machine and triggering an eject mechanism when they are in the correct position.
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The new capability enables leak detection at production speeds typical for state-of-the-art blowmolding equipment.  When pressurized air passes through an orifice, it generates an ultrasonic signal which PTI’s 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.  Routine background noise is monitored and graphed. If the background noise reaches an unacceptable level the ultrasonic sensor can trigger an alarm.

The LeakMonitor was originally developed as a diagnostic tool for carbonated soft drink (CSD) bottles made from a percentage of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET).  The LeakMonitor helps ensure that rPET usage does not result in defective bottles leaving the operation.  The LeakMonitor can also identify and locate leaks from valves, faulty lines, compensation gaskets, stretch rod seals, misaligned tooling, etc.

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.

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