Automated tube testing system shortens time to delivery, improves quality

Cerulean's Q-Test, the first fully automated tube testing system for laminate and plastic tubes, will allow industries such as packaging and consumer goods to reduce time to delivery, eliminate labor intensive manual testing. The machine is at Pack Expo, Sept. 26-28.

09/21/2011


Cerulean's Q-Test, said to be the first ever fully automated tube testing system for laminate and plastic tubes, increases quality and saves time.

Cerulean Q-Test, a fully automated tube testing system; Courtesy CeruleanManual tube testing as part of the packaging process is time consuming and can be inconsistent. Q-Test targets the medical, personal care and consumer food product industries where high quality packaging is essential.

“Tube producers in these industries need to test a number of parameters during the production process to prevent possible product failures and expensive manufacturing downtime,” said Peter Wilson, global sales manager, Cerulean. “These tests are currently carried out manually, making them labor intensive and open to interpretation with potentially inconsistent results. Cerulean Q-Test removes the need for this manual testing and offers accuracy and repeatability as well as providing a full history of quantifiable results that can be used to help improve product quality.”

Weld test results

One of the quality control tests currently carried out manually by tube manufacturers checks whether the weld between the body of the tube and the molded shoulder leaks. If the joint leaks, it is possible for the contents to become contaminated, or in some cases leak from the tube. To conduct this test, a tube is pressurized with an airline and then immersed, by hand, into a bucket of water to see if bubbles appear. This is messy, time consuming, and involves having water in the production area. Also, results from this method are also subjective and cannot always be quantified. Another important test carried out by hand is using a manual torque gauge. This test checks whether a tube’s cap has been tightened too much, or is too loose.

Tube manufacturers also need to ensure that the joint along the length of the tube, known as the side-seam, is within specification. This is currently tested by cutting a section of the tube with a sharp knife and then examining the joint with a microscope. These measurements, and other important checks, are very labor intensive and open to interpretation, leading to inconsistent results depending upon the skill and experience of the operator.

Automated testing drives efficiencies

Q-Test performs these tests automatically and logs the results for future reference. There are two measurement modules:

  • Q-Test 1 is based on pneumatics and measures leak, burst and torque parameters of plastic and laminate tubes using high quality precision transducers
  • Q-Test 2 adds the ability to measure length, diameter, ovality and side-seam parameters using both laser and high resolution optical systems.

Tubes can be fed to the machine manually, via a hopper or by using an automated transfer system.

Q-Test includes an industrial PC which controls all the mechanical and software aspects of the system. Results can be printed locally, on a network or shared on a company wide database if required, by linking the system to a network via Ethernet.

The system is expected to be demonstrated at Pack Expo 2011 in Las Vegas. Click here to see other Control Engineering Pack Expo coverage.

www.packexpo.com

www.ceruleanpacking.com 

Cerulean

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com

Machine Control articles, products, and tutorials

http://www.controleng.com/channels/machine-control.html



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
Safety standards and electrical test instruments; Product of the Year winners; Easy and safe electrical design
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
Automation modernization; Predictive analytics enable open connectivity; System integration success; Automation turns home brewer into brew house
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
Compressed air plays a vital role in most manufacturing plants, and availability of compressed air is crucial to a wide variety of operations.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me