MICRO-HOLES IN PACKAGING: IMPROVED PERFORMANCE AND EFFICIENCY OF IN-LINE INSPECTION
Antares Vision Group continues to develop its innovative in-line micro-holes detection system based on IR spectroscopy
The new LDS IoT (Leak Detection System) has better performance in detecting micro-leaks in packaged products on 100% of production thanks to mechanical and electronic improvements and a completely new design that makes it more compact and functional for production. In fact, it makes the monitor easily visible to the operator while they check the product on the conveyor belt, and, thanks to its small size, it also meets the needs of companies that do not have large spaces available in the production environment.
The new design has also improved the roller system, which determines the release of the target molecule necessary to identify micro-holes, and extended the possible applications to types of packaging that until now were difficult to verify due to the small size or the low volume of gas contained inside.
The inspection area is enclosed in a tunnel which allows to preserve the measurement from the CO2 potentially present in the work area, thus reducing false rejects.
The quick development of the solution has been facilitated by the collaboration with AV Electronics, a company born from the merger of Tec-Nel and Ingg. Vescovini, operating in the sector for several years and acquired by the Group in 2021 and 2022 respectively.
Why is it important to check the presence of micro-holes in packaging?
The presence of micro-holes in packaging can cause conservation and food safety problems, as well as alter the organoleptic characteristics of a product. Only in-line control on 100% of the production guarantees that every single package is qualitatively compliant, intact, and free of micro-holes.
How does Antares Vision Group’s solution work for the verification of micro-holes on 100% of the production?
Antares Vision Group has developed an innovative in-line micro-hole detection system, applicable to both trays and bags. The inspection does not require any changes to the line speed, nor to the composition of the product’s preservative gas. For the flow pack, through a specifically designed system, it is possible to analyze the presence of micro-holes also along the longitudinal seal, resting on the conveyor or facing upwards.
Thanks to the multiple sensors, it is possible to know the location of a micro-hole; this is relevant because it gives the possibility to act on the sealing process, preventing the creation of defects that would be recurrent on all the individual packaging.
Finally, the IoT system collects, processes, and exchanges data on the network to optimize the production process.
The innovative application of IR spectroscopy
Detecting in-line micro-holes relies on the application of IR spectroscopy to selectively, rapidly, and accurately find target molecules leaking from the package.
Target molecules include:
- CO2 for products packaged in Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP),
- Alcohol for the bakery sector,
- Flavorings for products in nitrogen or air.
Examples of products that can be inspected with this technology include fresh pasta, packaged bread, coffee, grated and fresh cheese, ready-to-eat dishes, meat, sliced, and piadinas or tortillas.