Every second counts

David Dineff introduces Agr’s laboratory-sized measurement system for glass containers, which utilises optical gauging technology in combination with automation and advanced operational software to perform a complete dimensional analysis in a matter of seconds. The full version of this article appears in the January/February issue that has been mailed globally and is also now available free of charge in the digital archive*.

Every second counts

Agr’s Gawis4Glass product is an all-in-one dimensional measurement system, designed specifically for the glass container quality control laboratory. With a footprint of one square metre, the Gawis4Glass is ideal for laboratories with very limited space or operations, where space is at a premium. The test system incorporates a host of measurement capabilities that can replace the routine laboratory measurements needed to support the design, process and quality management of glass containers. Through automation, the system combines a number of these critical bottle measurements into a single operation, performing a complete dimensional analysis in a matter of seconds.

In addition to its compact size, the Gawis4Glass directly addresses challenges that the dimensional measurement of bottles presents to laboratory personnel. Agr’s system incorporates features and functions specifically oriented to simplify this time-consuming task, while providing highly repeatable and accurate measurement results. To achieve this, the Gawis4Glass utilises the latest optical gauging technology in combination with automation and advanced, intuitive operational software to simplify container measurement operations, while maximising testing throughput.

Features and capabilities

Built upon a specially developed measurement platform, the Gawis4Glass incorporates a number of advanced features and capabilities including:

  • Precise finish gauging and body measurement capabilities utilising high resolution, USB 3 camera technology, optimised lensing and telecentric optics with 360° imaging.
  • Performance that exceeds all relevant international standards.
  • Powerful yet simple job creation and editing tools, featuring Agr’s patent-pending AutoJob for automated job set-up.
  • Large, customisable and intuitive user interface, with swipe and zoom capabilities.
  • Industry 4.0 communication protocols.

Precise dimensional gauging

A major design emphasis for the Gawis4Glass was to provide measurements with a level of precision and repeatability suitable for documenting the dimensions of production containers, as well as mould qualification and management. To accomplish this, the vision measurement technology selected for the Gawis4Glass utilises advanced high pixel density camera components, in combination with enhanced telecentric optics and LED lighting.

Telecentric optics ensure that every measurement is accurate and repeatable, regardless of container size, shape or distance from the camera. Cameras and optics are mounted on a rigid, fixed base for zero movement. This eliminates any potential errors from vibrations due to camera movement. The combination of telecentric optics and enhanced lighting provides a crisp edge shadow, making it possible to achieve the highest dimensional precision and repeatability, as well as a very low percent of process variation for individual measurements.

To facilitate efficient dimensional processing, images are captured at one-degree intervals and the entire bottle is scanned, achieving 100% full bottle capture. Once a sample is placed in the system, a rotary lift table presents the sample in front of the optics and provides 360° of rotation, allowing measurement over the length of and at any position around, the sample. Precise vertical and rotary positioning ensures that measurements are performed consistently every time, on every sample – preventing human error, unnecessary adjustments and incorrect data.

Ease of job set-up

One of the biggest challenges with measurement systems of this type is the preparation and programming of the device to perform the desired measurements. The Gawis4Glass offers a range of tools to simplify this process and minimise the time required to edit jobs. All job set-up methods are straightforward and intuitive, yet provide the versatility to enable an operator to customise tests for the application. For example, an operator can select a single measurement or combination of measurements for a particular job.

AutoJob is a patent-pending feature on the Gawis4Glass that is designed to simplify job set-up by providing automated recognition of key finish measurements. Operators can use AutoJob to automatically identify finish measurements, build a job from individually selectable measurement routines or choose from a library of industry standard or customised templates that include a collection of measurements and their associated limits.

To set up a job in under 20 seconds, the operator simply selects the AutoJob mode and the work of locating and identifying finish features is performed automatically. The Gawis4Glass scans the sample, identifies the standard finish measurements for that sample and incorporates them into the job within a matter of seconds. The operator can adjust the selection, add control limits and incorporate additional measurements as necessary. AutoJob can be used to create a new job or identify an existing job template through Template Matching, which provides the closest match of a scanned bottle finish to job templates in the template library. In all, the AutoJob feature greatly accelerated job creation, saving hundreds of labour hours through the course of a year.

Industry 4.0 communication

Industry 4.0 standard communication protocols have also been incorporated into the Gawis4Glass to improve communications and support Industry 4.0 objectives. This capability facilitates advanced communication with other devices to share data, support remote job change and interface with factory robotic handling systems without operator intervention.

Continuing the legacy

Agr International has a long history of providing high precision dimensional gauging and measurement systems to the glass container industry. Agr’s Dimensional Sampling Gauge and OmniLab products are well known within the industry for their high precision and automated measurement capabilities. These systems are relied upon by a number of bottle manufacturers for at-the-line or near-the-line sampling and measurement. The Gawis4Glass continues this legacy, while filling a need for similar measurement capabilities in the laboratory, in a format that is more compatible with the size and style of laboratory operations. The Gawis4Glass was designed specifically to fit this requirement.

Offering an array of systems for the measurement and testing of glass containers, Agr’s products are designed to help container producers, converters and fillers stay competitive, while meeting the increased quality demands of today’s changing world.

About the Author: 

 

David Dineff is Director of Marketing for Agr International

Further Information: 

Agr International Inc, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA
tel: +1 724 482 2163
email: marketing@agrintl.com
web: www.agrintl.com

 

* The full version of this article appears in the January/February issue that has been mailed globally. To increase accessibility in the current environment, the digital version of this issue can be read free of charge in its entirety alongside back copies in the Digital Archive (sponsored by FIC) at https://www.glassworldwide.co.uk/Digital-Issues. To receive the paper copy, all future issues and a free copy of the Who’s Who / Annual Review yearbook, subscribe now at https://www.glassworldwide.co.uk/subscription-choice

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