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Antares Vision Group, a technological partner in digitalization of products and supply chains for companies and institutions and a conductor of traceability and inspection for quality control, has introduced a noninvasive, inline pressure measurement system providing reliable, high-speed inspection for beverages in glass and plastic bottles.
Applicable for all transparent and semi-transparent bottles, Antares Vision Group’s PCS700-IOT utilizes advanced laser spectroscopy technology to precisely determine whether a container headspace has appropriate pressure levels. Among other benefits, the result is accurate, non-destructive leak detection, and process optimization.
Through a technique called Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy (TDLAS), the PCS700-IOT analyzes specific molecules in their gaseous state—in particular, their ability to absorb light at certain telltale wavelengths. The laser beam passes through the bottles in the product-free headspace. For carbonated beverages like seltzer, soda and beer, this enables CO2 levels and pressure concentration to be measured quickly and accurately, revealing whether a leak or micro-leak is occurring. Leak-determining pressure inspection also can be performed on nitrogen-dosed products such as water and teas, as well as hot-filled beverages including various juices. For the wine sector, PCS 700-IoT enables the in-line oxygen measurement to evaluate the efficiency of inertization process after bottle closing.
Crucially, the PCS700-IOT is a smart system: The unit can monitor not only total pressure but an average across complete or partial product runs. These metrics are presented in real time on a user-friendly dashboard, making for expedient and exacting assessment of products deviating from the norm. Critically, the system performs these tasks without necessitating changes to existing production line setups.
The PCS700-IOT, part of Antares Vision Group's DIAMIND Line suite, offers several advantages over the acoustic technologies widely used in the beverage market. For starters, detection via laser spectroscopy is more precise, meaning false rejects are diminished. Perhaps even more importantly, though, is the system’s ability to inspect containers inline without production slowdown, as well as its consistency regardless the type of cap used.
This materials agnosticism is key to the system’s versatility: The PCS700-IOT works with any glass or plastic containers, so long as they exhibit adequate transparency. Cap and closure agnosticism is inherent, since the system is inspecting only the container’s headspace. In addition, the unit’s noninvasive nature promotes increased hygiene, and the module’s minimalist construction is free of wear-down parts, leading to low maintenance requirements.
A strong example of the PCS700-IOT’s value is its inline utilization in beer bottling operations. In this scenario, laser spectroscopy Inspection can be conducted immediately following pasteurization; this strategic positioning intercepts any leaks or micro-leaks due to the heating and subsequent cooling of the container during pasteurization, as well as any micro-cracks in the bottle mouth. Bottles with pressure below a certain level are automatically rejected, with persistent pressure level monitoring allowing operators to adjust for minor deviations before they become major, line-stopping issues.