In July XPAR Vision has signed a strategic supply agreement with FAMA (Fabricacion de Maquinas) from Mexico. According to this agreement FAMA will integrate XPAR Vision’s products into their newly introduced IS machines and sell them to their market. Within the scope of supply are XPAR Vision’s Infrared Dual camera system (IR-D), Infrared Gob weight Control system (IGC), Gob Assist (GA) and Blank side Temperature Control system (BTC).
XPAR Vision’s Infrared Dual camera system (IR-D) analyzes every single bottle at the hot end in real time. Subsequently the system decides if a bottle is within quality requirements, or not (inspection). Critical defects can be rejected. From the data collected by the IR-D the forming process itself can be visualized through process characteristics based trend data (monitoring). Utilization of the IR-D and following up on warning and alarm notifications helps optimizing the forming process including mould design, IS maintenance, job change, swabbing, etc. Furthermore the IR-D data is useable for the purpose of automated closed loop control.
XPAR Vision’s Infrared Gob weight Control (IGC) controls the weight of the gobs automatically. Nowadays the IGC has both tube control as well as needle control. A constant gob weight is - or should be - a starting point for every glass maker, to increase the forming process stability.
XPAR Vision’s GobAssist (GA) measures the loading of the gob into the blank mould in real-time and analyzes it, in terms of position, length, speed and time of arrival. In order to produce good bottles, the loading process itself should be managed. The GA is an indispensable tool for this, giving warning and alarm notifications once loading parameters exceed defined limits. The acquired data enables to maintain stable gob loading and to achieve optimal gob loading faster after an equipment and/or job change.
XPAR Vision’s Blank side Temperature Control system (BTC) measures the temperatures of blank moulds, neck rings, plungers and parisons. In order to achieve the highest level of control, temperature information should be used in closed loops with IS timing systems, as single input or in combination with other sensor information.
For FAMA the cooperation with XPAR Vision is strategically important. Fama’s President Mr. Juan Farias states: “We have many reliable actuators in our portfolio, that can be used to control the forming process in closed loop applications. But when it comes to sensors, we are not interested in re-inventing the wheel and starting from scratch. Instead we seek strategic partnerships with companies that offer mature and reliable technology to the glass industry. Our offering to market includes forming process automation up to the highest level, as we believe that it is becoming harder and harder to retain glass forming knowledge and experience within the glass industry. This knowledge and experience we have to build in into our solutions.”
Also for XPAR Vision the cooperation with FAMA is strategically important. "Following co-operations with other IS machine manufacturers, this agreement with FAMA is again an appreciation of our most advanced and broad hot end sensor technology portfolio and again an important step in our efforts to optimize the container glass production process, in order to make the industry more competitive with other packaging materials," says Paul Schreuders, CEO of XPAR Vision. “The more we are able to bind forces with glass manufacturers and also with peer suppliers, the more effective we will be giving glass a better position in the field of packaging materials.”
In depth training
Within the coming months FAMA representatives will be trained to fully understand the capabilities of the technologies. Farias: “This in depth training is absolutely necessary, because we want to be the solution provider and not just equipment supplier. In depth understanding of the capabilities consequently allows us to define our path forward, with regards to integrating the XPAR Vision systems into our machines and control systems. We believe that process automation is important to boost our industries performance, in terms of defects produced and efficiency, but also in terms of weight and carbon footprint reduction, as such making glass a more sustainable and competitive packaging material.”