How THERMOscan 3D Works
Eject a hot preform and simply place it onto the THERMOscan’s universal gripper, then select ‘SCAN’ on the touch screen. Mind to grab it from the cold end. THAT’S IT !
THERMOscan outputs a graphical plot of internal and external temperature profile along the length of the preform – we call this measurement the preform temperature fingerprint.
Why use Thermoscan 3D?
Polymers in general are very sensitive in their behaviour under loading conditions to small variations of temperature. In addition, temperature is responsible for many defects, from aesthetic imperfections to more fundamental molecular level effects with impact on bottle performance.
THERMOscan is a revolutionary step in preform temperature measurement, providing a significant improvement in preform temperature profiling over the typical single point external measurement. The measurement of the longitudinal temperature profile for the internal and external surface of the preform, the ‘fingerprint’, is done off-line, offering an instantaneous result for adjustments in the oven setup or variation in environmental or material conditions.
Accurate comprehensive measurement of internal and external preform surface temperature.
OPTIMISE PROCESS SET-UP
THERMOscan allows operators to find the perfect balance between oven settings and stretch-blow stage.
Oven power can be adjusted for a specific product.
REDUCED TIME TO MARKET
With improved knowledge of the process and material, converters can deliver new projects quicker.
THERMOscan allows a smooth knowledge transfer from pilot development to production. Operators can now reference an objective temperature specification across the portfolio of machines on the plant floor regardless of the SBM machine model used in the pilot development.
Internal and external temperature profiles
THERMOscan measures both internal and external temperature profile at the same time. This is an industry unique feature and one of greatest importance. Radiation heat transfer causes a non uniform temperature distribution through the preform wall. Therefore, measurement of the internal temperature is essential for a true understanding of preform temperature. The interface also allows the user to set a reference plot for ease of comparison.
Ease of use
THERMOscan was designed with the user in mind from the very beginning. With just two operations: place the preform and tap the screen, the preform temperature measurement is available. It couldn’t be any simpler! THERMOscan is packed with both hardware and software solutions to make it easy to use and interpret the measurements quickly.
THERMOscan has a innovative gripper design that allows preforms with different neck dimensions to be tested without the need of changing fixtures or parts. All the operator is required is a one-off pre-set of the gripper for the internal preform diameter before the first measurement. When the gripper descend it automatically applies tension to center and grip the preform. On its return it releases the tension, allowing easy removal of the preform.
THERMOscan features unique, custom built smart non-contact sensors that detect the surface temperature of the preforms, automatically compensating for the environment temperature changes and user defined emissivity factors. The sensors have been specifically designed for this application, featuring a narrow field of view to ensure accurate temperature measurements.
Preform shape tracking and auto length detection
Some preforms have a more pronounced curvature below the neck support ring. When using an infrared non contact optical sensor the curvature can determine erroneous measurements. The external sensor in THERMOscan is tracking the shape of the preform to maintain a constant size measurement spot for high accuracy. In addition to various neck finishes preforms exhibit a great variation in the length as well. THERMOscan is designed such that it detects any length of preform in the given range.
TROUBLESHOOT PRODUCTION ISSUES
With more information from within the process, the operator can take informed decisions for the identification of production problems
ASSESS NEW MATERIALS
New materials and formulations have inherently unknown behaviour whilst processed. THERMOscan allows the operator to quickly learn their behaviour while processing through the oven.
Record, view and reference measurements. THERMOscan allows detection of process drifts preventing corresponding out of spec products.
PROVIDE KEY DATA FOR PROCESS SIMULATION
Temperature is an essential component for an accurate FEA/FEM process simulation.
A true profile of the preform is mandatory for heating and/or SBM simulations.
User defined emissivities
Preform made of various materials, grades, colours or containing additives can have different emissivities. THERMOscan’s smart sensors can be programmed with a few taps to specific emissivity values.
Automatic log of measurements
It is natural that you might want to keep a record of your measurements for future processing or documentation. THERMOscan automatically logs every measurement on a memory stick with a unique default name or a user specified one. And so you don’t forget to plug in the external memory stick, the software will prompt you to do so! This can subsequently be viewed in the built-in Viewer app or can be opened using spreadsheet or word processors.
We understand the importance of accuracy in temperature measurement. In order to evaluate the preform temperature as accurate as possible THERMOscan moves the preform in front of the sensors at high speed and captures information at high rate yielding a resolution of 1.5mm between sampling with only 25 milliseconds between samples. That’s fast temperature measurement.
User friendly touch interface
With the current advancement of technology it is expected for user interfaces to have touch functionality. THERMOscan has a generous 8 inch high quality responsive touch screen. The alpha-numeric or numeric keyboards pop up automatically when the custom fields are accessed. And for those who like even more flexibility there is also the option to add a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse.
Built-in comparison app
This is a very powerful built-in feature that allows the operator to instantly see the difference in preform temperature caused by different oven settings. Up to 15 files can be compared for external, internal or both temperature profiles. With such a quick turn-around the operator can optimise the process based on true measurements.
Report friendly features
Customer feedback is very important to us. This is why we added the print-screen feature on the scan and viewer interfaces for ease of reporting. The plots are automatically logged with a name derived from the name of the plot for easy identification. We are committed to continually improve THERMOscan system and our customers are key in this effort. Please fell free to get in touch!
THERMOscan offers multiple options for connectivity. USB, Ethernet, WiFi or Bluetooth can be enable to ease data transfer between THERMOscan and local infrastructure. Optionally a physical keyboard/touchpad can be installed to ease the text input.