Bottle breakage, also known as “bottle burst”, can occur at any point on the production line. When it does happen, it is important to take immediate action as a glass splinter can easily fly into another bottle and pose a potential danger.
At AMS we have developed a system for detecting bottle breakage in our closing machines. Once a break has been detected, the machine immediately stops and displays an alarm message indicating a bottle break. As an optional extra, the alarm can also be signalled acoustically. The number of bottles that need to be pushed before and after the break can be adjusted based on the machine size and the clients’ requirements. The system significantly reduces the probability that a glass splinter has landed in another bottle.
WHAT CAN CAUSE A BOTTLE TO BURST?Various factors can cause a bottle to break; the bottle could have been be damaged by the consumer before being returned, it can be out of tolerance meaning it does not fit correctly into the machine, or it can just be general wear and tear. Occasionally, a broken (deformed) swing stopper can cause also some problems (losing the swing stopper) during various mechanical processes in the machine. These are just a few examples.
HOW DO WE DETECT A BURST BOTTLE?Our system utilises a number of sensors which are located in the machine inlet, outlet and tunnel area. The machine program uses the sensor signals to identify a bottle in the machine inlet and assign it a position relative to the main carrousel. The program then follows the bottle through the machine. If the bottle cannot be detected by the sensors located in the tunnel or machine outlet a bottle burst alarm is automatically triggered.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A BOTTLE HAS BURST?Once the machine has stopped, the first step for the operator is to remove the burst bottle and any shards of glass from the machine. After the operator has checked the machine, the alarm can be reset. The program then starts emptying the machine automatically and as each bottle’s position is tracked, the program knows exactly how many bottles are currently in the machine and where they were located in relation to the break. The program then pushes the bottles onto the rejection table as specified by the client. Once the machine is empty it should be checked again and if required cleaned a second time before production can be restarted.
WHICH MACHINES HAVE A BOTTLE BURST FUNCTION?All new swing-top closing machines feature a bottle burst system; but it is also possible to retro-fit the system to an existing machine.