The TorqTraQ Device has been designed for maximum flexibility thanks to its lightweight and portable characteristics, said the company. This is in contrast to traditional torque metering units which are typically heavier bench models, a PTI spokesman told FoodProducitonDaily.com.
Its ergonomic design, with indentations in the metal disc to facilitate gripping, means it fits easily into the user’s hand, “making it easy to transport from bottle to bottle or line to line”, said the firm.
The four-inch diameter device works by positioning a closure-specific chuck, located on its underside, over the cap that is to be tested. The chuck itself is held in place with two screws and can be changed in less than a minute to measure a different closure’s torque. It can accurately meter a broad range of metal and plastic closures – including those with irregular shapes and features - thanks to its closure-specific approach, said PTI.
The topside of the instrument has an eight-digit LED display, application and removal indicators, plus an on/next button. As well as measuring the closure’s application and removal torque, the device can check the capper head’s application torque
PTI’s Ron Puvak said: “The TorqTraQ Device works much differently from traditional bench top models. Those units actually grip the base which can distort the bottle. Further, torque is measured by applying manual force to the closure. As a result, the operator can end up squeezing the cap, which could potentially distort the torque reading. Because those traditional units are designed to hold bottles with round bases, using them with other base geometries can be more challenging.”
He added that prior to the development of its new tool, it was necessary to take the capper head apart to measure its application torque – which resulted in “significant downtime”. The TorqTraQ simplifies the process by using a capper head chuck which is inserted into the equipment.
"This enables plant personnel to make quick, easy adjustments to the capper if the removal torque doesn’t meet specifications,” said Puvak.
Correct torque readings are becoming even more critical as new, lighter-weight closures are being commercialized, said PTI.
Puvak continued: “Thinner, lighter-weight closures mean that the operating window just got narrower. If the closure is applied too tightly, you run a higher risk of distortion. If it’s too loose, you won’t get the proper seal. Either way, you run a much higher risk of putting leakers into the distribution system, so meeting your torque criteria becomes even more critical.”
A further improvement over bench-top models is that the new tool has a USB port which enables fast download of up to 250 readings, which can be imported into a spreadsheet.