Newly developed mini data loggers from Institut für Glas und Rohstofftechnologie (IGR) together with Swiss measuring technology company MSR Electronics allows glass producers and filling companies to carry out line inspections in the original container in direct contact with the filling material.
The data loggers allow unrestricted passage through the entire production line and allow the recording of accelerations in the form of shocks, impacts, and vibrations in the original filled glass container by means of high-resolution sensors.
The records provide information about the (external) influences to which the glasses and bottles are exposed during filling, packaging, transport, and storage.
The data obtained in this way serves the glass and filling industry both for damage assessment and for process optimisation.
Flexible silicone housing allows measurements in both narrow and wide-neck glasses
To avoid this problem, IGR in cooperation with MSR has developed individually configurable data loggers, which make the use of dummies redundant.
The MSR175B4, MSR165B4, and MSR160B4 data loggers in silicone tubing are waterproof, insensitive to temperature and pressure, and can be used variably in both original narrow or wide neck glass containers.
They are designed for direct contact with the filling products and can run through the entire production or filling line under real conditions, recording all the required data.
Record acceleration up to 6400 times per second
The MSR175B4 has two internal three-axis accelerometers with measurement ranges of + 15g and + 200g and records shocks at a measuring rate of up to 6400 Hz.
The measuring intervals can be set manually. The storage capacity of over two million measured values is sufficient for recording at least 1000 shocks over a measuring period of up to eight weeks.
The "MSR175B4" also stores temperature curves from -20 to +65 °C.
A brief rise in temperature during pasteurisation or use in the dishwasher does not restrict the data logger's function.
Optional equipment is available with each variant as follows: internal temperature, humidity (0 to 100 % rel. humidity), pressure (0 to 14 bar), and light sensor (0 to 65000 lx), currently with a measuring rate of 10 min.
The MSR165B4 has one internal three-axis accelerometer with a measurement range of + 200g (optional + 15g) and a measuring rate of up to 1600 Hz.
The storage capacity of over two million measured values is sufficient for recording at least 10000 shocks over a measuring period of up to six months.
The MSR160B4 data logger is equipped with a 30 bar pressure sensor with a maximum measuring rate of 1000 Hz. This can be used, for example, to determine pressure differences that occur in filled bottles due to shocks.
All three MSR data loggers in silicone tubing comply with the EU RoHS/WEEE directive.
The current outer diameter of the data loggers is only 19.5 mm. An optimisation of the outer diameter to approx. 16.5 mm, which, for example, allows their use in all common mineral water or beer bottles, is currently under development.
Application example: Data logger for line inspection in beverage bottling plants
If the data logger is to be used for line inspection in a bottling plant, an original bottle is prepared in advance at the IGR or directly on site at the plant.
The respective data logger is inserted through the (bottle) neck and then fixed, so that its position remains unchanged during the entire measurement.
After the data logger has run through the line several times and any visually detected weak points have been additionally tested, the evaluation is carried out using MSR ShockViewer software and then classified in IPS (inches per second).
In their function as shock loggers, the MSR175B4 and MSR165B4 record accelerations.
Accelerations are measured in m/s² or in g.
The classification of these values into the unit IPS (inches per second), commonly used in the glass industry, is done by an appropriate calibration at the IGR or at the user's site with the original glasses and original filling material by means of a pendulum impact device.
By fixing the data logger in the bottle, it is even possible to determine afterwards in which direction (horizontal or vertical) the load was applied.
A pre-evaluation is possible directly on site and thus an immediate re-examination of desired line parts.
It is also possible to leave the logger in the bottle for several weeks after the filling process has ended to record the transport to the warehouse and any movements there.
To retrieve the bottle prepared with the data logger, itself and the packaging unit in which it is located are marked on the outside.
On the one hand, this guarantees visual traceability during data collection and, on the other hand, the marking prevents the prepared bottles from being accidentally put on the market.
In addition, MSR is currently developing a new procedure that will enable the data loggers to be retrieved using radio technology.
This allows continued contact with the logger in the bottle during packaging and transport, even if it is left in the bottle for a longer period of time. Furthermore, access to the prepared bottle is always possible.
Calibration, preparation, measurement, and data evaluation by IGR
It is recommended that the initial installation of the MSR175B4, MSR165B4, and MSR160B4 data loggers in silicone tubing be carried out and accompanied by an IGR employee.
This is so that visual or acoustic abnormalities or faults in the system can be compared with the data logger measurements during the run, and recorded events can be verified immediately.
The evaluation of the read-out measurement data by the IGR, and their preparation in a separate test report, is particularly useful when using the data logger for the first time.
At present, data evaluation is carried out subsequently and can be carried out directly on site.
Real-time evaluation is currently not possible due to the amount of data and the required classification in IPS.
In addition to calibration, preparation, measurement, and data evaluation, the IGR offers training in the proper handling of the data loggers and data evaluation using the MSR software.
Data loggers are helpful in identifying cost saving opportunities
The use of data loggers as control instruments is not only of interest to filling companies.
In principle, the MSR175B4, MSR165B4, and MSR160B4 data loggers can be configured to suit the specific conditions of the location in question.
This allows them to be used worldwide for the inspection of lines at glass producers as well as by bottling companies and the like, who fill and transport both narrow- and wide- necked glass containers.