Maximised laboratory throughput

Agr International introduces a robotic handling system for its Gawis 4D measurement system

As speeds increase, weights are reduced and recycled material is becoming a significant factor in bottle production, regular testing and measurement of production samples is essential to properly manage quality. However, with limited personnel and equipment, laboratory throughput can be a challenge for many production facilities, potentially compromising quality efforts. Agr International’s Gawis AF robotic handling system, in conjunction with the Gawis 4D measurement system, provides both, a solution for meeting the need for comprehensive testing/measurement of bottles and a means to address throughput demands.

The Agr Gawis 4D is designed to automate quality checks by consolidating numerous dimensional and thickness measurement operations, typically performed by hand, on individual bottles or preforms into a single hands-free operation, completed in a matter of seconds. The addition of the robotic handling system takes this to the next step. With the handling system, the Gawis 4D can not only measure individual bottles, but also perform measurements on complete sets of bottles or preforms. It can be operated on a continuous basis, without operator intervention, maximising testing throughput while freeing laboratory personnel for other, more critical, tasks. 

The Gawis AF robotic handling system interfaces seamlessly with the measurement system. It can be purchased with a new system or retrofitted to existing systems operating in the field. Central to the system is a precision pick and place industrial robot that manages sample selection and placement of samples into the Gawis 4D for measurement. Operation is fully integrated. All controls and operations including overall job setup, robot, sample coordination, as well as activation and control of individual test sequences are handled through the Gawis4D user interface.

For sample management, samples are hosted in a multi-level carousel that is outfitted with rotating tiers designed to accurately position samples for robot access. The tiers can be configured to accommodate bottles from single or multiple mould rounds, or a complete mould set of preforms. Each tier is fitted with spring activated sample grips that provide exact bottle control and positioning for the robot yet allow fast loading by an operator. When tests on the individual samples are complete, the robot can either discard samples or return them to the sample carousel for further analysis. 

The Gawis 4D outfitted with the Gawis AF robotic handling system is the latest in Agr’s line of high-precision measurement systems for bottles and preforms. The Gawis 4D system offers a means to perform a range of complex dimensional measurements that are fast and precise with un-matched repeatability. AutoJob, a patent pending feature on the Gawis 4D, simplifies job setup on the system by providing automated recognition of key finish measurements, reducing job setup time to a matter of minutes. This system also offers a wide range of thickness measurement options, including thickness at single or multiple discrete points anywhere on the sidewall or heel of the bottle, and the ability to perform complete vertical or horizontal (circumferential) scans for analysing preform ovality and material distribution.

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