AN Australian manufacturer has developed a high precision pneumatically operated system for detecting even the smallest holes in airtight packaging containers.
So advanced is the technology incorporated on this and other products manufactured by the company that in recent years it has expanded its operations beyond Australia to keep up with increased export demand.
Since 1985, Australian manufacturer Tronics has been developing products such as pressure sensitive labelling machines, heat transfer decorators and leak detection systems that are intended to be easy to use, accurate, reliable and ideal for use on a production line.
The leak detection system, which the company claims is the most accurate in the marketplace, was developed to detect holes in containers of different materials, shapes and sizes.
Low pressure clean filtered air is pumped into each bottle in a production line environment and pressure sensing devices from SMC Pneumatics detect any drop in pressure that would indicate a leak.
Variations in pressure as low as 1/10,000th of atmospheric pressure can be detected with the unit. It is also able to distinguish between a drop in pressure caused by a leak and that brought about by container stretch.
Pressure levels of a container are sampled and analysed 1000 times a second using transducer and microprocessor applications. This ensures all containers with even the slightest holes are detected and automatically ejected from the production line.
Using the digital control panel on the unit, an operator is able to set the threshold of pressure fluctuation acceptance depending on the requirements of individual jobs and applications.
Apart from this initial adjustment of controls, the system operates automatically without the need for staff to man it.
This type of system has applications in many industries where airtight containers are used including food and beverage, packaging, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, chemicals, confectionary and plastics.
To help with the design of the pneumatics system on the leak detector, Tronics called on SMC Pneumatics.
As well as helping the company design a reliable and efficient pneumatic system, SMC supplied Tronics with all the necessary pneumatic components including high flow VX valves, low pressure regulators, standard cylinders, SY series solenoid valves and all tubing and flow controllers.
According to Dominic Wong, design engineer at Tronics, SMC's input was valuable in designing the leak detection system.
"The SMC staff are experts in pneumatic design. We discussed our goals and requirements with them and they helped us design a system to suit," he said.
"As well as the expertise we get from dealing with SMC, we know the components are of excellent quality and come with after sales support we can rely on. We've worked with them for a number of years now and look forward to continuing the association as we grow into new markets." SMC Pneumatics 02 9354 8222.