Confirmed by independent experts: the HEUFT InLine II IXS is impressive in terms of detection performance and false rejection rate with absolute top values. Furthermore the "VLB (Versuchs- und Lehranstalt für Brauerei – Research and Educational Institute for Brewing) benchmark test for empty bottle inspection machines" demonstrates that the unique combination of camera and pulsed X-ray technology increases safety during the detection of glass splinters sustainably.
Experienced engineers from the Research and Educational Institute for Brewing in Berlin (VLB Berlin) carried out several field trials right away in order to put the next generation empty bottle inspector through its paces: they tested the detection accuracy of the HEUFT InLine II IXS under ideal conditions using "sharp settings" and the performance of the system in the realistic filling operation of a well-known medium-sized brewery using "operating settings".
Brown 0.5 l long neck returnable bottles with specially specified faults such as finish cracks, chips, contamination and various foreign objects were prepared for this. A total of 2,900 empty containers passed through the linear inspection system per test. In addition the independent experts examined how the synthesis of camera and pulsed X-ray technology, exclusively available from HEUFT, affected the detection performance during the identification of glass splinters surrounded by residual liquid. The results are impressive:
Full detection reliability and no false rejections
The machine index increased "significantly" when compared to another manufacturer's inspector which was used along the returnable line of the brewery prior to the installation of the new HEUFT InLine II IXS: the detection rate increased by 25 per cent in the "relevant fault types" category using operating settings. A full 100 per cent was achieved as with the "sharp settings". The detection of "all fault types", which included defects well below the previously specified sizes, during the simulation of the real filling operation increased even "more clearly" according to the VLB – by more than 40 per cent to a phenomenal 98 per cent.
The benchmark test also achieved absolute peak values regarding the proportion of wrongly rejected error-free empty bottles: this false rejection rate was clearly below the previously specified 0.25 at a sensational 0 per cent during all the test runs! Therefore an extremely low rate of incorrectly rejected bottles can also be assumed during day to day operation depending on the quality of the bottle pool and the individual quality requirements of the bottler. The result: less waste plus increased line efficiency and productivity.
Highly precise glass splinter detection
What distinguishes the HEUFT InLine II IXS in particular is a unique detection procedure in addition to its high degree of automation. It is equipped with X-ray strobes as the first system of its kind. Whether and to what extent they change the already impressive detection accuracy during the base inspection was the subject of another test run. For this the scientists compared the results of a purely optical examination with those of a combination of camera and pulsed X-ray technology. Cuboid, plate and needle shaped glass splinters in the colour of the bottle and each in five different sizes were used. The dangerous foreign objects were surrounded by 0.65 ml residual liquid the surface tension of which makes it more difficult for the camera based detection.
The results of the examination carried out a hundred times for each individual category of splinters clearly illustrates that the X-ray inspection significantly increases the detection performance in almost all cases – up to 29 per cent depending on the shape and size! It extends the detection performance of the optical base inspection so that even minute transparent glass splinters in residual liquid are identified reliably. Therefore the test clearly confirms that the combination of both procedures generates real added value and maximum safety during the detection of foreign objects.
Conclusion: a redefinition of the state of technological development
The VLB benchmark test impressively illustrates that the HEUFT InLine II IXS redefines the state of technological development regarding the inspection of empty bottles with unprecedented top values regarding detection accuracy and an extremely low false rejection rate – not least because of the considerable contribution of the unique X-ray strobes for a highly precise detection of glass splinters surrounded by residual liquid on the base of the bottle. See the performance of the highly automated empty bottle inspector for yourself at the drinktec exhibition: Hall B4 / Stand 315.