WILCO to Exhibit New Leak Testing Method for Filled Pharmaceutical and Consumer Goods Aerosol Cans at ACHEMA

WILCO will be exhibiting its new high-tech testing method for filled aerosol cans, which can be used to replace the costly, energy consuming and environmental polluting traditional hot water bath.

The newly developed laser-based technology by WILCO allows a laser-based, non-contact leak testing of filled aerosol cans at capacities of up to 900 cans a minute with just one testing station! The leak rate required by law of 2×10-3 mbar x l a second is detected safely and highly accurately with smallest attainable standard deviations and any leaking cans are automatically eliminated from the running production processes.

The new testing method operates at a maximum power consumption of 1200 watts and represents an alternative to water baths with their enormous energy requirements. This is also the only supply of energy required; it does not require any other sources of inert gas or flame for ionization.

The machine has a fully automatic self-monitoring system and provides the highest standard of safety. Since the used laser, due to its low power, belongs to class A specification, no separate protection devices are required for the operating personnel.

In addition, the integrated laser diode was designed for a long life and allows consistent measurements for many years without any loss. With this newly developed technology, the requirements of the UN ADR 2007 document European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road are met and substantial savings regarding energy and machine footprint can be achieved compared to the hot water bath

Finally, the environmental benefit must be emphasised, since no leaking of contents into the water and water contamination can occur. Therefore any need for regular water changes or water filtering systems is eliminated.

Key features and advantages:

  • The detection method is based on a non-destructive, low energy infrared laser, which activates direct molecule absorption of propellant gases.
  • The detection limit is much better than the UN ADR requirement of 2.0 x 10-3 mbar l / s.
  • Extremely fast reaction time, the measurement signal is already available after 10ms. This results in approximately ten measurement points for each filled AE can, at a production speed of 600 cans a minute! Allowing for safe and effective rejection of single leaky cans directly from the production flow.
  • The limit of speed is reached at above 900 cans per minute!
  • The system does not have to be operated at its technical limit to effectively monitor any high speed production environment.
  • The system does not react at all to changing moisture concentrations in the environment due to operating a nearby hot water bath or due to seasonal moisture changes.
  • The system does not use electrical discharges or open flames to detect propellant gases, therefore usage in an ex-proof environment is without risk.
  • Contrary to a FID (flame ionization) technology, the IR technology has an easy gas management and does not require additional controlling respectively monitoring technologies.
  • The main detection system can therefore be installed detached from the measurement point, thereby excluding any potential environmental influences of the detection results.
  • The IR-based laser detection system is contrary to all other available detection technologies free of wear and extremely low on required maintenance. In comparison to a FID based detection technology, no repeat and time consuming cleaning respectively replacement of capillaries is required.
  • There is no need to use hydrogen as burning fuel, thereby avoiding extensive safety measures.
  • Very low operating costs.
  • The IR-based technology determines the presence of propellant gases directly through a molecular absorption and not indirectly through influences of burnable gas components to capacitant measurement fields. This based on ‘first principles’ approach does therefore not require a calibration.
  • The IR-based laser system is modular extendable by a large leak detection system, avoiding contamination of the sensor and avoiding false rejects.
  • The IR-based laser system is completely independent of temperature changes.

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