Innomech helps boost UK glass exports to China


22-05-2012

Ely-based GB Innomech is developing a high performance, rapid inspection system for Cera Dynamics, the UK’s leading specialised glass manufacturer.

The new system - which automates the final inspection of glass frit or powder enabling a 300% increase in output - is designed to help further improve product quality and enable Cera Dynamics to meet growing global demand for its products, particularly from China and Taiwan.  The glass is used in a variety of industries from dental to electronics to the encapsulation of nuclear waste, where absolute quality, consistency and sizing of the product is paramount.  Cera Dynamics needed a system it could trust to remove any out of specification material prior to despatches.

Innomech’s new fully-automated system is designed to verify consistent production and provide Cera Dynamics with an efficient and accurate final inspection of glass frit prior to shipping.  A vibratory feeder with a 200 kg capacity spreads the powdered material onto a moving belt, which is then illuminated under white light and imaged with a line scan camera fitted with a colour filter to detect any over-sized particles.  The particle stream is carefully lit to avoid any potential false rejections caused from refracted light or reflections.  Out of specification particles are automatically removed from the bulk as it passes over a series of pneumatically-powered diverters.  The machine’s capacity is 100 kg per hour, whereas the current manual process operates at 25 kg per hour.

“Cera Dynamics already operates 24 hour production but at times it can be difficult to keep pace with fast-growing and changing demands.  Innomech is developing the perfect system to automate our final inspection process, increase throughputs and to guarantee quality.  The new machine has also been specifically designed to be totally flexible and easy to clean, so we can quickly move from inspecting one specialist glass type to another, minimise lead times and further improve our overall manufacturing efficiency,” said Mike Jones, Managing Director of Cera Dynamics.

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