Agr International has unveiled its latest development, the Gawis 4D™, a new laboratory test system that is designed to provide a new level of design, process and quality management for plastic containers and preforms.

The company says that its new system affords operators with the ability to perform multiple measurements, on a wide range of plastic containers and preforms, with what Agr describes as “unmatched accuracy, repeatability and operational throughput”. This all-in-one measurement system incorporates the latest optical gauging and thickness measurement technology, in combination with automation, with the goal of simplifying container measurement operations while maximizing testing throughput. 

Agr’s Gawis product line, introduced over 20 years ago has sought to provide plastic bottle and preform producers around the world with a means to perform accurate and repeatable dimensional and thickness measurements as part of their quality management program. The Gawis 4D is the latest generation and incorporates several features and capabilities.

A major design emphasis for the Gawis 4D is to provide measurements with a level of precision and repeatability for PET, PE and PP containers that can document dimensions of production containers and also have sufficient precision for the qualification and management of molds.  The vision measurement technology incorporated in the Gawis 4D utilizes high pixel density camera components in combination with enhanced telecentric optics and lighting.  This combination supposedly provides a very crisp edge shadow, making it possible to achieve the highest dimensional precision and repeatability as well as a very low percent of process variation for individual measurements. All this is done while reportedly increasing throughput by 30%.

The design of the Gawis 4D imaging system, along with “advanced” measurement algorithms, provides the capability to measure an extensive range of finish dimensions on bottles and preforms.  Jobs can be configured for single or multiple combinations of measurements, supposedly without sacrificing throughput. A large library of industry-standard finish measurement routines is provided with each system. These are each customizable to meet the needs of the application.

A patent-pending feature on the Gawis 4D is AutoJob, a feature that simplifies job setup by providing automated recognition of key finish measurements on a bottle or preform sample.  Agr says that this facilitates easy job creation, saving hundreds of labor hours through the course of a year.

The Gawis 4D system also utilizes Agr’s infrared light spectrometer measurement technology to perform thickness measurements. The company argues that this method offers fast and precise thickness measurement without contacting the container or preform and is compatible with most colours as well as a range of polymer materials. 

Industry 4.0 standard communication protocols have also been incorporated into the Gawis 4D, with a view to improving communications and support Industry 4.0 objectives. These include OPC and XML with TCP/IP connectivity.