Agr International Inc. (Butler, PA) has announced the commercial launch of its CrystalView product for optimizing the material properties of PET bottles. The release of the measurement system further expands the capabilities and the potential of Agr's Process Pilot product group well beyond the measurement and management of material distribution.
Bottle manufacturers now have the means to run the coldest possible process in order to optimize bottles material properties while maintaining target material distribution. As a result, the best strength-to-weight ratio for a given bottle design can be achieved, improving overall bottle performance and at the same time, reducing costs.
The CrystalView measurement system offers a simple, reliable and hands-free means to accomplish the optimization of PET material properties without overstretching or going beyond the temperature boundaries that cause molecules to break and create pearlescence.
The CrystalView system manages the process to the point where it is "just right"; avoiding the creation of pearlescence by detecting the very edge of where the process gets too cold and pearlescence begins to form. With CrystalView, it is possible to reduce the preform processing temperature to the ideal processing point (10 °C.) for a given bottle design.
AGR said its CrystalView measurement system incorporates a set of discrete vision components that are mounted inside a reheat stretch blowmolder. As bottles exit the mold, the CrystalView system scans every bottle for the onset of pearlescence. During operation, control algorithms incorporated into the CrystalView system actively monitor the levels of pearlescence.
In conjunction with the Agr Process Pilot automated blowmolder management system, and based on a learned mathematical model that identifies the ideal control variables, adjustments are continuously made, including preform temperature, to manage bottle production to the point where the PET material properties are fully optimized, at a level just before the onset of pearlescence.
The CrystalView system also offers the potential for significant savings along with improved bottle in a number of areas including blower energy consumption (from 7-10%), materials savings through expanded light weight potential and Improved downstream efficiencies as a result of decreased downtime losses during filling and processing operations.
The CrystalView product is the third segment of the Agr Process Pilot blowmolder management product group.