The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Dresden, has developed the new 'Pack Peel Scan' measuring device for testing peelable packaging.
Equipped with artificial intelligence, it allows the effective evaluation of easy opening packaging systems. The opening forces for peelable, thermoformed packaging can thus be measured and tested in accordance with the relevant standards. The 'Pack Peel Scan' is equipped with machine learning in order to predict and avoid process errors. The device will be presented at K 2019, the international fair for the plastics and rubber industry in Düsseldorf from 16-23 October 2019 (Hall 7, Booth 70SC01).
Fraunhofer says the 'Pack Peel Scan' can be used as an external device in the production of peelable packaging for products such as foods and medicines. It records the opening forces for trays and film packaging. It measures the force-displacement characteristics of the opening process. By comparing the tear-open forces with guide values for easy opening packaging, the device determines whether the packaging is actually easy to open. The seam quality can be directly evaluated during production. Flexible adaptation of the packaging contour and packaging height enable any desired formed packaging to be reliably used and effectively measured and tested. The artificial intelligence also evaluates the measured force profiles and identifies any errors within the sealing process.
Combining machine learning with machine operator assistance
Besides being employed as an autarkic measuring device, an assistance system for machine operators based on machine learning can be integrated for disturbance diagnosis. The data about specific opening force profiles can also be used by the machine learning to predict process errors. This enables relevant information to be passed to the process control system or to the machine operator for performing specific actions. The system is able to learn the causes of disturbances with the sealing process and facilitate their prevention. Machine operators receive, for example, information about the possible cause of non-compliant seams.
The device was developed in a project under the ZIM (Central Innovation Program for SMEs) program in collaboration with IMA Ingenieurgesellschaft für Maschinenbau und Anlagen GmbH. The Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM) is a national funding program of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) for all technologies and sectors and supports SMEs and collaborating R&D organizations.