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New temperature probe seeks to improve PET bottle production, energy costs

Plastic Technologies Inc. has developed what it calls a "first-of-its-kind" hand-held temperature probe for preforms that are used to produce bottles. With an increasing number of brand owners bringing PET bottle production in house, this tool aims to be an asset to improving their bottle-making efficiency.

Plastic Technologies Inc. has developed what it calls a "first-of-its-kind" hand-held temperature probe for preforms that are used to produce bottles. With an increasing number of brand owners bringing PET bottle production in house, this tool aims to be an asset to improving their bottle-making efficiency.

PTI's PreTemp probe has been engineered to accurately measure the preform's interior temperature. The company says that this is an important new capability because traditional methodologies only measure the exterior temperature. The probe also can be used to identify process changes during routine operation and troubleshoot heat-related issues.

"Typically, an educated guess is made regarding the interior temperature, which makes it difficult to effectively control the heat that is driven through the preform wall. This has a profound impact on the manufacturing process including poor thickness distribution, less than optimum bottle performance and wasted energy," said Ron Puvak, director of marketing and new business development, PTI.

With the information provided by the PTI PreTemp probe, the user can adjust the heating lamps to more effectively drive heat through the preform wall, improving the final output.

The probe utilizes an array of precision non-contact infrared sensors which provide a temperature profile to the operator. It can be used to measure and record up to 16 data points simultaneously. This feature allows measurements in both an axial and radial profile thus better assisting in process checks.

The probe features single-button operation, has a built-in display for quick reference and comes with user-friendly software to log and analyze data.

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