Intelligent device measures the force required to open peelable packaging

Press release / July 24, 2019

The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Dresden, has developed the new “Pack Peel Scan” measuring device for testing peelable packaging. Equipped with artificial intelligence it allows the effective evaluation of easy opening packaging systems. The opening forces for peelable, thermoformed packaging can thus be measured and tested in accordance with the relevant standards. The “Pack Peel Scan” is equipped with machine learning in order to predict and avoid process errors. The device will be presented at K 2019, the international fair for the plastics and rubber industry in Düsseldorf from 16-23 October 2019 (Hall 7, Booth 70SC01).

Man operates the new measuring device "Pack Peel Scan".
© Fraunhofer IVV
The “Pack Peel Scan” device measures the opening forces of peelable, thermofomed packaging in accordance with relevant standards. The integrated machine learning method also enables process errors to be predicted and avoided.

The “Pack Peel Scan” can be used as an external device in the production of peelable packaging for products such as foods and medicines. It records the opening forces for trays and film packaging. It measures the force-displacement characteristics of the opening process. By comparing the tear-open forces with guide values for easy opening packaging, the device determines whether the packaging is actually easy to open. The seam quality can be directly evaluated during production. Flexible adaptation of the packaging contour and packaging height enable any desired formed packaging to be reliably used and effectively measured and tested. The artificial intelligence also evaluates the measured force profiles and identifies any errors within the sealing process.

The “Pack Peel Scan” also enables machine learning to be combined with an assistance system for machine operators

Besides being employed as an autarkic measuring device, an assistance system for machine operators based on machine learning can be integrated for disturbance diagnosis. The data about specific opening force profiles can also be used by the machine learning to predict process errors. This enables relevant information to be passed to the process control system or to the machine operator for performing specific actions. The system is able to learn the causes of disturbances with the sealing process and facilitate their prevention. Machine operators receive, for example, information about the possible cause of non-compliant seams.

The device was developed in a project under the ZIM (Central Innovation Program for SMEs) program in collaboration with IMA Ingenieurgesellschaft für Maschinenbau und Anlagen GmbH. The Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM) is a national funding program of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) for all technologies and sectors and supports SMEs and collaborating R&D organizations.

Innovation 3D electronics: production from R2R (roll to roll process)

Thermogeformtes 3D-Elektronik-Bauteil
Development of thermoforming processes for the implementation of 3D electronic components in the R2R principle

The Fraunhofer IVV was chosen to present itself with the innovative approach of molded electronics at the Science Campus of the K-Messe 2019, hall 7 SC09 in Düsseldorf. The Science Campus is intended as a platform for research and industry for the plastics and rubber sectors, presenting groundbreaking technologies and solutions.

The forming technology developed as part of a joint project is based on the fact that a substrate is initially produced in a planar state using established printing and assembly technologies and that the 3D geometry is only produced by forming in the final processing step.

This enables the cost-effective production of interactive (operating) surfaces with high demands on ergonomics, design and functionality in the fields of robotics, home, medical technology, automotive and aviation.

The Fraunhofer IVV is constantly developing new heating and forming technologies for the targeted control of the forming process in order to form printed and assembled semi-finished products. In addition, the electrical and mechanical properties of materials under process-related load conditions are tested and evaluated using various characterization methods.

In addition, numerical simulation is used to calculate the optimal product geometry and to parameterize the necessary technologies.

Further information on innovative moulding processes