Filler valve monitoring systems have been around for a long time, with fill level monitors. They have a basic capability: a fill level monitor watches the filling system and collects data, telling you how each individual head is working.
What are the basics?
Fillers are essentially giant wheels – they have individual spickets or heads in them where the container is filled; when the container is filled, it exits the filler. If it’s a glass container, it usually gets a cap put on it. If it’s a can line, the can is seamed and you’ve got a full beverage can. The basic idea is to track the fill performance of each individual head so that you can tell how well those heads are working. As heads start to get out of adjustment, a maintenance person can get insight as to when that’s happening, and optimize the maintenance approach to ensure everything is working well.
The other thing this helps with is the moment you have any type of malfunction, you’ll see that in the data immediately and can stop the line and fix the filler.
So, what does an X-ray system bring to the table?
Full container X-ray systems offer immensely accurate insight into the fill level of each container. Consider traditional technology: you have a beverage can; a beam comes across to measure how full the container is. A full container X-ray system takes that to a new and major level. It takes a picture and then measure the fill level or compute the amount of fluid in the container. You can imagine the filling systems working, cans and bottles coming out; and then the system is measuring it at the same time.
How does the X-ray system know what container it’s looking at, or what head it’s from? To put it another way: when a container comes out, how would the machine know that it’s from, for example, “Fill Head 6”?
Peco InspX machines have sensors that allow the system to do just that through a queuing system. It essentially checks each container and synchronizes it with a sensor. If maybe a can flies up in the air (don’t worry, that’s really rare), the system recognizes that and throws out the discrepant data and starts collecting new data once it has a replacement can or that can again.
These are sophisticated tools that allow any beverage filler to have modern technology. Most beverage fillers being used today are of a mechanical nature, so this automated tracking of their performance is a great way to extend their life and make them more useful.
Our X-ray machines are also capable of being programmed to do fully automated sampling. When they do that, they automatically kick off a full or partial sample from the filler or the seamer; then those can be analyzed for their correctness. With most beverage applications, you saw the top off the can and look at the seam to make sure it’s appropriate (part of a statistical sampling process for quality control).
What can Peco InspX machines do?
- Each valve’s performance can be calculated and the standard deviation from the average matched
- Synchronize with sensors and queuing systems
- Automatically alarm if the system is out of sync
- Foreign material, dent, and leak detection
- Container integrity checking
- Make sure your fillers are running (of course!) and that your fill level is exactly where you want it to be
- Take and store images
- Show and store trend history
- Seamer sampling with time intervals
- Fill distribution by valve and measure over-fill and under-fill
- Inkjet print information
There’s a lot more – please contact us to find out about our machines’ full capabilities.
Check out the attached video to see the kind of data these machines collect!