High precision dimensional gauging system for glass containers

According to David A Dineff, Agr International’s latest dimensional gauging system features advances in camera technology, throughput, measurement capabilities and much more. The full version of this article appears in the May/June issue *.

Agr International has officially introduced the Dimensional Sampling Gauge, Series 400 (DSG400). This is the latest generation in a line of high precision dimensional gauging systems designed by Agr expressly for glass container measurement.

While the DSG400 retains much of the look and feel of previous versions of Agr’s Dimensional Sampling Gauge, this version incorporates a multiplicity of innovative hardware, features and capabilities that further expand the handling, throughput, precision, communication and measurement functions of the DSG product line.

Some of the most prominent features incorporated in the equipment include:

• Advanced high pixel density, USB three camera technology with optimised lensing and telecentric optics.

• Expanded measurement algorithms for multiple critical measurements.

• Hands-free job change.

• Optimised tool set for expanded measurement of small ware.

• A quad-core central computer.

• Positive table positioning for enhanced thickness measurement.

• Industry 4.0 communication protocols.

When performing the complicated measurements required for managing glass container quality, maintaining sufficient throughput without sacrificing precision is always a concern. The DSG400 overcomes this in several ways:

• An advanced no job change feature makes it possible for the DSG400 to accept bottles of different sizes and shapes from the same or multiple lines, without the need for an operator to adjust handling components or change parts. This same enhanced tooling also facilitates positive bottle placement and increases the measurable thickness range for pharmaceutical and small format bottles.

• A quad-core central computer system with a USB 3.0 camera interface and an embedded operating system provides the horsepower necessary to manage high speed communication with the system’s multiple cameras. This increases overall processing speed and vision frame rates, making it possible to capture more images, with higher density, in less time.

Focus on precision

A major emphasis for the DSG400 is measurement precision. Its precision is improved over previous models with the latest camera technology that sports a 2x increase in pixel density. Enhanced telecentric lighting provides for improved edge shadow for the highest dimensional precision and repeatability. This improvement is of major significance as it provides for more distinct categories and lowers the percentage of process variation for individual measurements.

Several enhancements have been made to simplify and improve measurement capabilities for label panels and finish thread measurements. These include an optional ‘point cloud’ function for contour visualisation of label panels. An intelligent ‘T’ measurement has been added to improve precision and simplify the measurement of non-overlapping, partial overlapping and depressed threads. For one of the most difficult measurements to perform by hand, an enhanced lug algorithm has also been incorporated to accurately measure lug finishes including L, lug diameter and gaps between lugs.

When measuring thickness, it is important to be able to measure material distribution over the complete bottle profile, including sidewall, shoulder and angled areas. The DSG400 provides high accuracy thickness measurements simultaneously with dimensions by seamlessly incorporating Agr’s Thickness 360 measurement system. With its patented vision-guided, three-axis positioning and optical measurement, Thickness 360 can measure round and non-round panels, tilted sidewalls or even corners at an accuracy of +/- 0.02mm and repeatability of +/- 0.01mm. Thickness measurements on the DSG400 are further enhanced through optimised bottle positioning and additional software features that extend the measurement range, making it possible to measure thickness over the complete body sidewall, particularly on small pharmaceutical ware.

Advanced communication

Industry 4.0 standard communication protocols have also been incorporated into the DSG400 to improve communications and support Industry 4.0 objectives. These include CSV added outputs, XML and TCP/IP connectivity, as well as XML tags on all data points. The addition of this capability expands the system’s ability to talk to other devices, support remote computer job change (commands and uploads) and interface with factory robotic handling systems without operator intervention.

The Dimensional Sampling Gauge is Agr’s premier dimensional measurement system that functions as an automated laboratory test station, providing hands-free, high precision measurement of critical glass container attributes such as body and finish dimensions, weight, pushup, bore, wall thickness and when mated with Agr’s SPT2 (OmniLab configuration), volume and pressure testing, all in one system.

About the Author: 

David A Dineff is Marketing Director at Agr International

Further Information: 

Agr International Inc, Butler, PA, USA

tel: +1 724 482 2163

email: marketing@agrintl.com

web: www.agrintl.com

* The full version of this article appears in the bumper 148 page May/June issue, alongside a series of exclusive interviews with industry figureheads, topical market reports and technology updates. Subscribe now to receive the full paper and digital versions (subscribers receive a free copy of the Who’s Who / Annual Review yearbook!).