Industry Q&A: Film Inspection
Sensory Technologies for Better Film Inspection
Oliver Stauffer of PTI offers his insight into film inspection and defect detection. He has been with the company since 2005, and was appointed VP of inspection technologies in 2011.
May 31, 2013
Q: What factors must be considered for proper web/film inspection and defect detection?
A: Film inspection can encompass a wide variety of material properties and defect types. Density, thickness, marks, and abrasions are just a few of the defect modes that one may need to detect. Visual defects may not be physically apparent, and many physical defects may not be visually apparent. Visual defects do not always correspond to a defective product and therefore require a much deeper analysis of the physical properties of the seals. By combining the two sensory technologies, an in-depth map of the material can be made to detect for any material inconsistencies and identify trouble areas. These multi-sensory inspection technologies are available to detect both physical and visual attributes of film materials.
Q: What kinds of trends/technologies is this sector seeing?
A: Sensory technologies are becoming faster and cheaper. Where vision systems used to be a predominant form of inspection, new ultrasound and infrared technologies are capturing unique defects on-line. Where vision systems were limited to only topical visual defects, ultrasound can be used to identify both thickness and density in real-time, while infrared can detect the slight visual irregularities. Definitive quantitative results provide production lines with reliable data that can be used for trending analysis and the ability to detect defects early in the manufacturing process.
Q: What are your customers requesting in terms of products or service? What’s new and exciting at the company?
A: Customers continue to seek 100% online/inline methods of inspecting flexible packaging to verify seal integrity. Faster and more sensitive is always good news.
PTI’s new airborne ultrasound system, the Seal Sensor 512, is twice as fast as previous technologies and can detect defects as small as 150 microns. This technology is not only designed to detect defects in the materials, but will also detect variations in material thickness and density, as well as detect many common seal defects such as incomplete seals, inclusions, channel defects, misaligned seals and delaminations. It can also be coupled with PTI’s Red-I Sensor for dual ultrasound and infrared material analysis.