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Bottle inspection along molder transport path

Image Number 11 for United States Patent #5591462.

Camera based inspection equipment is used in conjunction with a multiple-station forming device such as a blow molder for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or PEN bottle manufacturing. The inspection system relies on handling devices that present successive bottles for imaging, and due to their operation with the forming device it is possible to correlate inspection data with individual forming elements and/or transfer elements. A seal surface inspection module, a base/neck fold inspection module and a finish gauge inspection module are integrated into the route of preforms and containers through the container manufacturing equipment such that the inspection system is directed to view the passing bottles as they are carried on the transfer devices needed to load and unload the molder. The base/neck fold examines the lower portion of the bottles in elevation and plan view at the predetermined angle of orientation of the bottles on their longitudinal axes, maintained from the mold cavity to the inspection system, for examining the folds in the bottoms of the bottles. The seal surface module examines the surface to be sealed against a cap, in an axial inspection view. The finish gauge inspection module examines the threads and flanged neck.

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