Antares Vision Group has introduced a noninvasive, inline pressure measurement system providing reliable, high-speed inspection for beverages in glass and plastic bottles. Applicable for all transparent and semi-transparent bottles, the company’s PCS700-IOT utilizes advanced laser spectroscopy technology to precisely determine whether a container headspace has appropriate pressure levels. The result is accurate, non-destructive leak detection and process optimization.

Through a technique called Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy (TDLAS), the PCS700-IOT analyzes specific molecules in their gaseous state—in particular, their ability to absorb light at certain telltale wavelengths. The laser beam passes through the bottles in the product-free headspace, which, for carbonated beverages like seltzer, soda and beer, enables carbon dioxide levels and pressure concentration to be measured quickly and accurately, revealing whether a leak or micro-leak is occurring. Leak-determining pressure inspection also can be performed on nitrogen-dosed products such as water and teas, as well as hot-filled beverages including various juices. For the wine sector, PCS700-IoT enables the in-line oxygen measurement to evaluate the efficiency of the inertization process after bottle closing.

PCS700-IOT is a smart system, able to monitor not only total pressure, but an average across complete or partial product runs. These metrics are presented in real-time on a user-friendly dashboard, making for expedient and exacting assessment of products deviating from the norm. The system performs these tasks without necessitating changes to existing production line setups.

Additionally, PCS700-IOT offers several advantages over the acoustic technologies widely used in the beverage market. For example, detection via laser spectroscopy is significantly more precise than analog methods, meaning false rejects are substantially diminished. Moreover, the system can inspect containers inline without production slowdown, and can measure consistency regardless the type of cap used.

PCS700-IOT works with any glass or plastic containers, so long as they exhibit adequate transparency. Cap and closure agnosticism is inherent, since the system is only inspecting the container’s headspace. In addition, the unit’s noninvasive nature promotes increased hygiene, and the module’s minimalist construction is free of wear-down parts, leading to exceedingly low maintenance requirements.

An example of the PCS700-IOT’s value is its inline utilization in beer bottling operations. In this scenario, laser spectroscopy inspection can be conducted immediately following pasteurization; this strategic positioning reliably intercepts any leaks or micro-leaks due to the heating and subsequent cooling of the container during pasteurization, as well as any micro-cracks in the bottle mouth. Bottles with pressure below a certain level are automatically rejected, with persistent pressure level monitoring allowing operators to adjust for minor deviations before they become major, line-stopping issues.

Antares Vision Group: