Vector Automation was contacted by a tier one supplier of SS kegs to the Coors Corporation for the purpose of providing a solution for leak detection after the welding of chimes and circumferential welding of their beer kegs.
Prior to the Vector Automation solution, leak detection was done by taking a beer keg and then lowering it into a tank of water and looking for air bubbles. This slow, tedious operation also lead to the contamination of the water , which brought up even more problems when the water needed to be disposed.
Vector Automation came up with the idea of using AE (acoustical emissions) testing as a means to do the testing.
The system was set up so that when the welding process had been completed, the beer keg would be placed on a conveyor line in the vertical position and then indexed into the AE cell for testing.
Once the keg entered the cell, the beer keg was pressurized with 10 to 15 PSI. After that, the keg was rotated while four air borne sensors located the chime welds, circumferential weld, and the nozzle weld to listen for leaks.
Converting to this method of leak testing resulted in reduced labor costs and the elimination of dealing with contaminated water waste.