User expectations regarding container glass quality are extremely high. However, quality also has to be controlled: faulty containers on the conveyor belt must be reliably identified and accurately removed. The ASDR (Autonomous Stuck and Down Ware Reject System), futronic’s low-cost system specifically for this purpose, made its debut in the mid-nineties. It has been continuously developed by the firm’s engineers over the years; the control system specialist from Lake Constance will now take advantage of the upcoming glasstec to present the third, completely revamped generation.
First and foremost, the ASDR-III reject system does what any reject system is supposed to do: it auto-detects faulty containers by means of a light barrier and removes them with compressed air. Faulty containers can be any containers which are broken, have fallen over, are too close together or have stuck together as well as any cullet or fragments. Containers which are smaller or larger than a specified, freely selectable diameter or which exceed any other tolerance limits are likewise rejected.
Improved functions, new features
The ASDR-III, developed by futronic in response to the increased quality requirements laid down by container glass manufacturers in the last few years, comes with several significantly improved functions compared to the predecessor version plus a whole set of new features. The ASDR-III ships with a control unit in the new design as standard as well as an enlarged, 8-digit LED display. A light barrier unit is also included. In contrast to the previous generation, it consists of not one but two vertically mountable, retro-reflective sensors, providing far better detection and rejection accuracy. The new control unit can moreover capture and store more operating data than before, in other words it supplies more – and more precise – information for statistical evaluations of the production process.
Reliable damage avoidance
More light barrier units can be linked up to the ASDR-III if necessary using the interfaces provided. A retro-reflective sensor, for example, which is mounted downstream of the ware transfer and counts the quantity of good products as they pass by, is available as an option. There are also plans for a third, likewise optional light barrier unit, positioned directly upstream of the hot-end coating tunnel. The aim is to detect congestion as soon as it occurs and then interrupt the supply by activating continuous reject mode. The ASDR-III sends a parallel signal to the control unit of the hot-end coating tunnel, which automatically stops the spraying process and lifts the cover concerned, so that the operator can remove whatever it is that is causing the obstruction. Apart from anything else, serious damage to the production line can be reliably avoided in this way.
Integrated double parison reject system
The ASDR-III additionally differs from its predecessor in that it features an integrated double parison reject system. Double parisons are containers from more than one parison. One or two infrared sensors can be optionally connected to the ADSR-III for this purpose. These IR sensors measure the temperature of the passing containers. If a container’s thermal signature deviates from the setpoints, it is rejected as soon as it forms at the hot end. A single sensor installed just above the conveyor is normally sufficient. If a second sensor is used to enable misshapen products to also be identified and rejected quickly and accurately when manufacturing large, wide-necked containers, for instance, it should be positioned next to the conveyor and level with the necks.
Seamless integration in the production environment
Many plants and machines still work with controls which cannot handle the rejection process at the hot end. The ASDR-III reject system was therefore designed as a standalone solution which fits seamlessly into existing IS production environments as well as into any control architecture. Section-dependent reject signals from IS controls can also be processed by the ASDR-III without any problems. The ASDR-III control unit is accommodated in a robust housing which easily withstands the harsh conditions prevailing in the IS machine’s environment; all components are rated for temperatures of up to 85°C. Owing to its compact design, it can be flexibly integrated into the production line and installed directly at the conveyor.
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