The RS-100, whose speed may be selected to match its environment, is designed to test directly over an already active continuous conveyor, having a jack height adjustment, no tooling requirement (no timing screw) and not necessitating a backlog of bottles prior to installation. The tester automatically tracks, follows, and tests the bottles as they travel through its segment of the production line. Once installed, the tester is programmed to run 24 hours per day, seven days per week as a production-monitoring tool for the plastic bottle blow molding production line. An encoder wheel on the side of the machine is positioned to ride on the conveyor and give input of its speed (so operators can match the slide speed to the conveyor speed), while a status light is fitted to the top of the tester’s frame to alert operators of a bottle jam or other malfunction.
By way of the linear guide, a continuous motion approach is used for the probe head to automatically follow and test each bottle as it travels down the conveyor. This bottle handling method, as opposed to stopping individual bottles underneath a fixed probe head, allows a high-speed inspection of conventional and hard-to-handle bottle types up to 10.5". The tester itself, by way of interchangeable heads and seals, can be tuned to the desired level of seal-surface sensitivity, i.e., “short shots” (bottles formed with too little original plastic, therefore having a top too short or otherwise malformed for use) or nicks. The pressure-decay test can detect hole sizes down to 0.0004", even if the rest of the container is adequately formed. The “floating” mount test probe design allows for interchangeable heads and seals if the RS-100 is in a production line where bottles with differently-sized openings are being produced.