Roots (1990-2002)

In the following, our early years (1990-2002).  In the year 1990, in the Technical Department of a global Vendor of Packaging Machinery, we began a new R & D design: to implement camera-based Quality Control systems, to detect and reject products' defects, nearly invisible to human eyes.  It was based on the Japanese Omron®'s earliest experiences toward industrial Machine Vision. We are speaking of an epoch when industrial automations were 'wired logic', say based on relays, contactors and timers and human-machine interfaces, due to the price still high of the LEDs, were ...coloured neon lamps.  Programmable Logic Computers, today so common, were the 'big new' in the field.

23 years later, services and technologies we integrated into systems and applied, are securing the Beverages produced by 119 Bottling Plants (~160 Bottling Lines) in 39 Countries spread thru 4 continents, by mean of  more than 400 Electronic Inspectors, including Coca-Cola®, PepsiCo®, Carlsberg®, Heineken® and Nestle' Waters®.

Graphene, why 

Graphene (a LLC), inherited these experiences and traces its beginning in 2010, a few days after the official announcement about Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov's Nobel Prize for Physics.  Graphene's structure is hinted on left side in Our logo.   It has received considerable attention due to its fascinating physical properties such as quantum electronic transport, a tunable band gap, extremely high mobility of the electrons, high elasticity and electromechanical modulation.  During tests at extremely low temperatures, the junctions of graphene outperformed by around 100 000 times the switching speed of today universally adopted Silicium's junctions.  These last are what since 40 years let all of our Electronics' technological applications function, including the device used to read these notes and whatever smartphone or TV.   This result made graphene the best candidate to replace Silicium-based transistors and junctions wherever, starting by the applications where performances are critical: that’s why this is Our registered trademark.  Graphene® is built on 25 years of multinational

 industrial experiences matured since 1990 in:

  •    115 Bottling Plants, spread thru 39 Countries;
  • > 160 Bottling Lines;
  • > 400 Electronic Inspectors installed, started and commissioned.



Rotary Empty Bottle Inspectors

On left side, the first Rotary Empty Bottle Inspector, installed and started in July 1994 in what is today an Anheuser-Busch InBev™ mega-Brewery and was then yet a huge Heineken™ investment on the American continent, in a glass returnable Line. An Expert System based over the Heuft Spectrum EBI technology, developed after 1991 by Heuft Systemtechnik GmbH™ and the then SASIB Simonazzi™, during the early age of the Empty Bottle Inspectors (EBI).  In those times, the linear EBIs were not still 

widely welcome by worldwide Bottling Companies: rotary EBIs were at high production speed the standard solution.  The first installation came after training in the seat of Heuft® Systemtechnik GmbH at Burgbrohl, Germany.  We had the possibility to meet first time and be trained also by one of those few who paved the way for the progress of the Mankind in Quality Assurance's Optoelectronics: mr. Hans-Peter Heinrichs.  The new rotary-implementation of the Heuft EBI linear design was co-authored by mr. Horst Graff.

Returning to that Rotary EBI, it was equipped with:

  • until 11 CCD cameras and related HV strobo flashers;
  • until 60 CPUs (32 bits I/O);
  • 1 Programmable Logic Computer;
  • 3 monitors, assuring the Human-Machine Interfacing;
  • 3 active Star Wheels, devoted to the rejection of bottles, until the still today high peak production speed of 72000 bottles-per-hour, at the linear speed of 2.5 m/s.   

In the image on right side, derived by an old restored print from a shot dated June 25, 1994, an epoch when today common 

Tucuman, Mendoza,  Zarate and Corrientes), Paraguay (Ypane') and Brasil (Araraquara).  It grew to figures implying a grand total ~ 7 million of bottles of beer (Brahma®, Kaiser® and Quilmes®) inspected each one day.      

A direct sight, clicking on the thumb above.       

portable CCD-cameras into smartphones were still to be created, the 'Inspection Starwheel' area of the EBI.  In evidence, three industrial CCD cameras by Sony for Finish and Base inspections.  In mid-December 1994, at a nearby Brahma Brewery (now, Anheuser-Busch InBev™) on the inauguration day, was the then President of the Republic of Argentina Carlos Menem who, personally attracted by a strobo-flashing EBI like visible only in discotheques, also if rounded by tens of guards and Televisions’ cameras, desired to know it all about the relation of Quality between Optoelectronics & Bottling.   From mid-1994 til 2000, it grew quickly the number of Rotary Empty Bottle Inspectors we installed, commissioned and serviced in Breweries in the area including: Argentina (Buenos Aires, Lujan, Quilmes, San Miguel de 

1998              Full Bottle Inspectors   

The range of Inspectors for whom we had capability and certification to assure installation, startup and commissioning, started this year to be extended out of the Empty Bottle Inspectors (EBI) based on Heuft Systemtechnik GmbH™, to Full Bottle Inspectors (FBI) based on Spectrum™ technology by the same German Vendor.   A first training on Spectrum VOM models and related rejectors Delta-K, Delta-FW and Mono for full bottles and cans sampled or rejected at high speed.  Devices capable of much more than common fill level and closure presence inspection, rather also Filler + Closer Monitoring and Sampling in systems with several physical conveyors running at different speeds, several encoders, trigger photocells & rejectors. The first application of the newly acquired skills came in a Coca- Cola® franchised Factory at Luka, Slovakia, where the Bottling Lines were hosted under the thick concrete hangars occupied until a few years before by the Red Army and its 'hardware’. 

1999      In-the-Machine & Sampling                                          

The range of brands and models of Inspectors extended to Stratec Control-Systems GmbH™ (founded 1987) to its smaller versions of Full Bottle Inspectors, after a first training (4 days long) in the seat of Stratec Controls then in Pforzheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany on Procon Compact Line (X-ray, High Frequency and Gamma-ray) and FEM models and related rejectors.    It was the opportunity to meet first time the President of the Group BBULL®, mr. Bernhard Bull, an Industrial with deep insights in the future evolution of worldwide Bottling Controls, a sincerely kind person too.  Additionally, a first contact with the Centro Kontrollsysteme GmbH®  (founded 1978), also fabricant of the futuristic impressive robotic rejectors for crates and packs.  The image on side shot in 1999 in a Coca-Cola™ Plant suggests we fronted in this year our first contact with one of the 'Bottling-best-kept-secrets': the in-the-Machine configuration, associated to the fast Sampling of light bottles.

2002      Linear Empty Bottle Inspectors

3-linear-ebis med-2

On right side, a trio of Linear Empty Bottle Inspectors during the installation phase evidenced by the Line layout blueprint, in a glass returnable 120 000 bottles-per-hour.   A giant Line whose dimension can be inferred by the capacity of its Bottle Washer: 160 000 bottles-per-hour.  

We commissioned these Empty Bottle Inspectors to deliver maximum 50 000 bottles-per-hour when the bottle linear speed is <1.0 m/s.   Electronic Inspectors built by Heuft Systemtechnik GmbH™.   Machines still today fully running, whose inner production counters confirm today around 2 billions of bottles controlled for the presence of defects.  2 billions of bottles whose safety with respect to caustic soda, foreign objects in the base, broken finish has been and continue to be assured.

(to be continued)

                                                                                                            Copyright Graphene Limited 2013-2019