Sonication of Bottles and Cans for Leak Detection

Hielscher ultrasound is being used in bottling and filling machines for the on-line container leak testing of bottles and cans. The instantaneous release of carbon dioxide is the decisive effect of ultrasonic leakage tests of containers filled with carbonated beverages.

Carbonated drinks, such as soda and beer have a high concentration of dissolved carbon dioxide. The ultrasound will increase the speed of degassing and deaeration significantly. In the case of carbonated drinks the CO2 will almost instantaneously form bubbles and rise to the surface.

Advantages of Ultrasonic Bottle Leakage Testing

  • compact
  • energy-saving
  • easy-to-retrofit
  • reliable
  • continuous operation
  • up to 36,000 bottles per hour using only 1kW ultrasound (e.g. UIP1000hdT)
  • dry
  • on-line
  • sonication while container is moving

 
This effect results in a rapid rise in pressure inside the closed can or bottle. The pressure rise leads to an immediate escape of liquid, if the container is not leak-proof. With level or pressure control systems the leaking cans or bottles can be removed afterwards. For a leakage test an ultrasonic processor with a unique bar sonotrode is integrated in the filling machine, in that way, that the cans or bottles are moved along the sonotrode. A pressure appliance mounted opposite to the sonotrode generates the pressure to the cans or bottles to the sonotrode, that is necessary for the ultrasonic excitation.

Bottle leakage testing is significantly improved using Hielscher ultrasonic probes. The ultrasound agitates the bottles or beverage cans to detect any leaking fluids of carbonated beverages.

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Ultrasonically agitated system for bottle leakage testing

Ultrasonically agitated system for bottle leakage testing

 

This pressure appliance can consist of brushes, plastic foam, leaf springs etc. The beverage is excited indirectly via the wall of the can or bottle. Each filling machine can easily be retrofitted on account of this simple and space-saving construction of the ultrasonic systems. With customized designs of the sonotrode the ultrasonic system can be adjusted to different space conditions. As this is not an ultrasonic bath, the container will not get immersed into a water bath, meaning it does not get wet. Hence the subsequent problem of drying the beverage container is completely avoided. The ultrasonic sonotrode can be either straight or curved to fit into your machine. The images on the left demonstrate the principle of ultrasonic leakage detection and the available installation options.
 

Sonicator UIP1000hdT with sonotrode BS1000x60 for container leakage detection of sealed containers filled with carbonated beverages

Sonicator UIP1000hdT with sonotrode BS1000x60 for container leakage detection of carbonated beverage containers

 

Why Ultrasonic Container Leakage Detection?

Ultrasonic container leakage detection offers several advantages in ensuring the quality and safety of carbonated beverage packaging. Major benefits of Hielscher Ultrasonic leakage detection include:

  • High Sensitivity:
    Ultrasonic testing is highly sensitive to minute leaks, cracks, or defects in container walls. This allows for the detection of even the smallest imperfections that could lead to leaks.
  • Non-Destructive Testing:
    Ultrasonic container leakage detection is a non-destructive testing method, meaning it does not damage or alter the integrity of the containers being tested. This is crucial for maintaining the quality of the product.
  • Dry Test Environment:
    In contrast to ultrasonic baths used for bottle leakage testing, with Hielscher Ultrasonics leakage detection the containers do not pass a water bath. Water baths may be contaminated by spills and can spoil subsequently the oute surface of beverage containers. Dry testing mitigates the risk of contamination associated with water baths. Spills or leaks in a water bath can contaminate the testing environment and compromise the cleanliness of the container’s outer surface. Ultrasonic dry testing reduces the likelihood of external contamination, maintaining the hygiene of the packaging process.
  • Inline Testing:
    The inline nature of ultrasonic leakage detection allows for real-time, continuous monitoring of each container as it moves along the production line. This ensures that any defective containers are identified and removed promptly, preventing further processing or packaging of faulty products.
  • Preservation of Container Appearance:
    Containers subjected to ultrasonic dry testing remain dry throughout the process. This is particularly important for beverage containers where maintaining a pristine appearance is crucial for marketing and consumer perception. Dry testing helps prevent watermarks or other visual imperfections on the outer surface of the containers.
  • Adaptability:
    Ultrasonic systems can be configured to accommodate various container specifications, line speeds, and existing bottling system requirements. This adaptability makes ultrasonic leakage detection suitable for a wide range of manufacturing setups.
  • Quick Detection:
    The ultrasonic agitation and vibration induce rapid pressure changes within the container. This results in a quick detection of leaks, providing an efficient means of identifying and addressing issues in real-time.
  • Reduced Product Waste:
    Early detection of leaks ensures that only containers meeting quality standards proceed through the production process. This minimizes the chances of defective products reaching the market, reducing overall product waste.
  • Enhanced Product Safety:
    By preventing leaks, ultrasonic container leakage detection contributes to the overall safety of the product. It helps avoid potential contamination and ensures that consumers receive beverages in properly sealed and safe containers.
  • Cost-Effective:
    The efficiency and precision of ultrasonic testing contribute to cost-effectiveness by minimizing production downtime and reducing the need for manual inspection. The installation and retro-fitting can be easily realized and inexpensive. This allows for long-term cost savings for manufacturers.
  • Compliance with Industry Standards:
    Ultrasonic container leakage detection aligns with industry standards for quality control in beverage packaging. Meeting or exceeding these standards is essential for regulatory compliance and maintaining consumer trust.
  • Real-Time Monitoring and Reporting:
    Sophisticated ultrasonic leakage detection can be easily installed with real-time monitoring and reporting systems, providing valuable data on the performance of the production line. This facilitates proactive maintenance and continuous improvement in the packaging process.

 

Ultrasonic transducer UIP1000hdT with sonotrode BS1000x60 for container leakage detection of sealed bottles and cans filled with carbonated beverages

Ultrasonic transducer UIP1000hdT with sonotrode BS1000x60 for container leakage detection

Ultrasonically assisted leakage testing of bottles and beverage cans
Inline leakage testing of beverage container using ultrasound agitation
Testing beverage bottles and cans for leakages is efficientlyperformed using ultrasonic agitation. The ultrasound waves are transmitted by an ultrasonic probe (sonotrode)

Ultrasonic Sonotrode vs. Ultrasonic Tank

Ultrasonic tanks are commonly used container integrity testing. In such a setup, the bottles or cans are being immersed into an ultrasonic tank filled with water. The ultrasonic vibrations are transmitted to the container wall by means of the surrounding water. One major problem results from beverage leaks and spills. The beverage will mix into the water and contaminate the outside surfaces of all immersed containers. Besides the impact on the optical appearance of the containers, there is a serious impact on the consumer safety. Beverage residues on the container will lead to microbial growth and mildew during storage and transportation. Although clear water rinsing reduces this problem, contamination at the container bottom is typically not rinsed off. Hence the problem persists.

The use of the bar sonotrode eliminates the immersion of the containers into a tank. Therefore, it avoids the container contamination. This leads to improved product safety.

OEM Integration of Ultrasonic Sonotrodes

Hielscher offers you the ultrasonic devices with sonotrodes for the integration into on-line container leak testing equipment. You will need additional means for detecting leaks, e.g. level detection or liquid spray detection. Hielscher does not offer complete leak detection systems. If you are a machine manufacturer you can get OEM units for the system integration.
 

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Please use the form below to request additional information about ultrasonic bottle leakage testing, technical drawings, details for integration and retro-fitting as well as prices. We will be glad to discuss your bottle and can leakage test requirements with you and to offer you an ultrasonic system fulfilling your needs!









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