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Full Container Inspection: Vent Tubes and PET Filling

blue bottles

Vent tubes are what help fill a container; but they can break off and be seamed inside the can without someone noticing. Plant personnel may be too busy to catch it — that’s where an X-ray machine comes in.

For those of you familiar with beverage operations, you know that foreign materials can get into your containers. But inspecting full containers is its own beast. This blog will cover two aspects of full container inspection: vent tubes and PET filling. (Spoiler alert: X-ray inspection plays a key role.)



Vent tubes are what help fill a container; they can be made of plastic or metal. The challenge is that they can break off. And if they break off and get seamed inside a can, they can be fairly hard to spot (unless you’re physically shaking the can). Another challenge is that you don’t immediately know where the broken off vent tube came from, just that it’s somewhere on your filler. Because plant personnel today are so busy, finding these things can happen after the fact – and that can mean a lot of rework.

Peco InspX offers a holistic solution: “Full Filler Management”.

This inspects every container that comes off the line and tells you the performance of each fill head within plus or minus a half a percent of the container volume. So if your filler needs maintenance, you’re going to know exactly which fill heads to adjust. Another advantage of this type of system is that if you lose something, it can tell you which fill head it came from. That way, you can immediately stop the line, fix your filler, and pick up the ejected container (versus rework and a messy cleanup).

We have a lot of customers contact us saying they’ve lost a vent tube. Generally, in cases of PET or in aluminum, we can find that vent tube provided that it’s made of metal or X-ray detectable plastics. With single container inspection, we can find vent tubes that are made of Teflon or other higher-density plastics in addition to X-ray detectable ones.

The bottom line is: if you want smooth filler operations, use full container X-ray; it’s far better than just a fill level monitor.


One of the things people in the business know is that PET containers are not uniquely made. They’re not like a machine can when everyone is exactly the same. They’re blown from a mold and there are variations. Often, customers have challenges addressing fill level monitoring or fill volume because each container is different; so, they set it for the worst case and end up throwing away a lot of product.

With a full container X-ray inspection, you can get the exact volume of what’s put in the container and you can know that every container is precisely filled. And balance that with the need to get all the containers similarly filled, so that you have a nice-looking product on the shelf.

This is a big difference from existing fill level monitors, and it’s what makes full container X-ray systems phenomenally valuable to beverage operators.

So stop throwing away product, stop looking for vent tubes – get a Peco InspX full container X-ray system with filler valve monitoring, and sleep easy.

For more information, visit Peco InspX

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