Agr developing real-time monitoring system

By Jim Johnson
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: November 19, 2013 1:38 pm ET
Updated: November 19, 2013 1:44 pm ET

Dineff-Agr-monitoring-jpg

Image By: Jim Johnson, Plastics News David Dineff, global product marketing director for Agr International Inc.

Related to this story

Topics Blow Molding, Process Controls & Software

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — Agr International Inc. wants to turn the way the PET bottle industry measures, manages and deals with crystallinity on its ear.

The Butler, Pa.-based company is nearing commercialization of new technology that will provide real-time crystallinity management for finished bottles created by the reheat stretch blow molding process.

"I believe it's a huge deal because it changes the industry paradigm from a responsive quality check to a proactive quality control," said Agr's Georg Wolfe during an Oct. 17 interview at K 2013 in Düsseldorf.

As chief technical officer for the company, Wolfe has spent the past year examining the crystallinity issue with an eye on creating a solution.

Crystallinity, in and of itself, is a good thing in the reheat stretch blow molding process. But you know what they say about too much of a good thing.

Bottle makers want a certain amount of crystallinity — essentially how molecules line up as a PET bottle is created to help with issues such as shelf life and bottle integrity.

But too much crystallinity will lead to bottle performance and appearance issues.

Bottles can become hazy and experience pearlescence, a whiting of the PET at the bottle's base.

Wolfe has spent the last year or so creating a real-time crystallinity management system that bottlers will be able to use as containers are being made.

Machine operators, historically, have taken a reactive approach to the crystallinity issue, tweaking the system as problems become apparent. But that way can create plenty of rejected bottles during the time it takes to manually resolve the problem by adjusting temperatures.

Agr's impending approach will use software to monitor the temperature of both the preforms used to make bottles, as well as the oven used to heat those units before they are turned into containers. This automation will allow for fine-tuning of the process to control crystallinity as well as material distribution in the molds.

"Right now, this is all done manually. So the guys are looking and they are tweaking things. They are tweaking the oven. What happens is the preform energy also governs the material distribution. If they are tweaking the ovens to get the crystallinity up, they are affecting their material distribution. So it's going haywire," said David Dineff, global product marketing director for Agr.

So Agr's idea is to create software to monitor and control that process. Testing will take place in the upcoming months with plans to have the system available next year.

"We haven't released the product yet, but we're working on trials over the next three to six months. But, essentially, what we've found is a relationship between preform energy and the crystallinity," Dineff said.

The new offering will be made through the company's Process Pilot family of products that already provides material distribution, defect detection and automated blow molder control services.

"Simultaneous real-time management of the process is huge," Wolfe said.

"The bottle is a very sophisticated item. People take that for granted, but there's a lot of sophistication that goes into a bottle," Dineff said.


Comments

Agr developing real-time monitoring system

By Jim Johnson
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: November 19, 2013 1:38 pm ET
Updated: November 19, 2013 1:44 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Design group Hexagon buys Vero Software to upgrade CAM capabilities

July 22, 2014 9:51 am ET

Stockholm-based Hexagon AB, a design technology company, has announced its acquisition of Vero Software, a leader in computer aided...    More

Image

Italian machinery exports up

July 16, 2014 11:40 am ET

The Italian trade association for plastic and rubber processing equipment makers, Assocomaplast, has announced that exports are up by almost 9...    More

Blow molder helps Mrs. Dash use less resin

July 15, 2014 4:27 pm ET

Meredith-Springfield Associates Inc., an extrusion and stretch blow molder in Ludlow, Mass., helped Mrs. Dash PET spice bottles thin down.    More

Image

Pact Group bringing forward new packaging, looking at acquisitions

July 15, 2014 11:07 am ET

Australian packaging company Pact Group Ltd.'s high density polyethylene milk bottle design is on its way to amassing a trophy cabinet full of awards.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events