Personal Care White paper Quality Gate
White paper Quality Gate
Redesign: Optima Quality Gate with Flipper
Quality and optimal machine availability combined
Users want an implementation of packaging technology that is as error-tolerant as possible. But there are ‘natural’ limits to this in the high performance segment in particular. Contextually, there is also the issue of the product quality that a manufacturer wants for its final customers. With the newly developed Quality Gate, Optima Group Nonwovens offers a solution that fulfills both requirements.
Published in o-com consumer/nonwovens 01/2011
Further White papers in our Newsroom
The Quality Gate allows recording and monitoring the parameters of packaged paper hygiene products. Defective products are subsequently discharged from the packaging process by a reject unit, the Flipper. This provides users with control not only over the product quality but also over the packaging process, which can be continued nearly without interruption. And of course, both functions can be combined. It’s a fact that any ramp-down of the manufacturing process leads to a loss of 30 to 70 products. After restarting the machine, the same product loss is to be expected again. According to experience, it takes several additional machine stops after that, until a stable manufacturing process can be re-established, as in such cases, the probability that the machine will run without further interruption is clearly below 90%. That means: A stop is usually followed by more stops with more product losses. Indisputably, in these cases, the loss of only the one product that does not meet quality standards or process parameters is much more cost-efficient.
Product testing can refer to a wide scope of criteria:
- Deviation from target position into horizontal and/or vertical direction;
- Length of time phases between the products.
- Specific individual product parameters such as length, width etc.
In addition, the Quality Gate supports monitoring of phasing digressions. The Gate can use these as control parameters for compensation in the further process. Even if all product parameters were correct and quality of the product was good; the incorrect phases between the transported products would still lead to a machine stop. Within certain limits, this can be compensated in the subsequent process by data gained by the Quality Gate.
Quality Gate in new quality
Compared to its predecessor, the Quality Gate of the latest generation offers a number of improvements. The entire module is mounted at the operator side of the machine, which brings good accessibility. In addition, the Gate can be pulled out to the side on ball-bearing mounted rails to facilitate setting for product alignment control for the operator.
Product alignment into and across product flow is controlled by optimized fiber optic cable. The fiber optic cables of the new Quality Gate are steel-coated and thus safely protected. To ensure functionality of the sensors and the cameras at any moment, additional air jets were integrated. They allow safe removal of dust and product particles. Moreover, the product-carrying conveyors are now conducted over four deflection rollers instead of three, which leaves more room for the Quality Gate itself. Yet another improvement refers to the software that is now able to precisely localize each product and check it according to the set parameter(s). Consequently, the downstream Flipper reject unit removes only the defective products from the packaging process. Previously, the required safety standard was typically reached by also rejecting one product before and one product following the defective product. Now, only one product is rejected, which achieves an increased efficiency of the combination of product reject (flipper) and Quality Gate by 66%.
Flipper with multiple functions
A Flipper module not only makes sense in combination with the Quality Gate. Additional operating modes are possible, such as the periodic ejection of products for quality control, manual actuation of the flipper for testing, or – as described above – application as reject device that can trace defective products. The rejected products can be collected in a collection tank, if desired. Rejection time of the flipper is <40 milliseconds, so that the packaging process can continue in unhindered top speed.