Inspecting even between the closure wires

A full-coverage all-surface inspection of empty swing-top bottles is not possible? Yes it is! With the specially further developed HEUFT InLine II systems.

They will soon be obligatory throughout the EU for soft drinks in non-returnable plastic bottles: tethered closures. In the returnable glass sector, on the other hand, closures which remain firmly connected to the primary packaging even after the bottle has been opened and enjoyed have been available for a long time:

Breweries in Germany and Europe in particular are increasingly relying on resealable beer bottles with nostalgic swing-top closures that make a distinctive "plop" sound when opened.



Inspecting all surfaces

However, this special type of closure presents difficulties for empty bottle inspection. After all, in addition to bottles that are still closed, it is necessary to reliably detect incorrectly fixed, misplaced, defective and incomplete swing stoppers as well as to ensure a full-coverage inspection of all surfaces of the glass containers to be refilled.

Otherwise, on the one hand, problems can occur in the capper – resulting in blockages, stops and jams that drastically reduce the efficiency and output of entire filling lines. And on the other hand, there is the danger that, for example, label residues, contamination and defects in the neck and finish area of the swing-top bottles are simply overlooked.


Covering previously uninspectable areas

So that something like this can no longer happen with HEUFT InLine II systems we already ensured six years ago that the affected area – similar to when inspecting empty ACL bottles completely – is no longer blanked out. For this purpose, we developed new software that uses logical connections in AI-supported image processing to always determine the exact position of the respective swing stopper during the 360° sidewall inspection. In this way, inspection masks can be set in a targeted manner and defects clearly identified, even in areas of swing top bottles that were previously considered uninspectable.

Even more is now possible with the HEUFT reflexx A.I. cameras developed and manufactured in-house. They are integrated into the cabinets for the sidewall inspection and check the correct fixing of the clip closures to the empty bottles in a top-down arrangement and precisely detect the specific alignment angle of the respective clip closure. This is precisely tracked and transmitted during the intelligent tracking of each individual container.

Blending out swing stopper wires

That makes it possible for the first time to even blend out the closure wires and realise a comprehensive complete inspection of the sensitive area between them. Even with challenging swing top bottles the sidewall inspection with the HEUFT InLine II systems is now practically complete:

Label residues, soiling, defects and many other safety risks and quality faults become visible even where nothing was visible before.