MBTxt offers high precision thickness measurement

Agr’s new MBTxt series of portable thickness gauging devices offer compact size, high precision and a measurement range up to 24mm – perfect for measuring glass

The MBTxt is the latest in a line of small, portable thickness gauges offered by Agr International, Inc.  This compact device features an advanced digital architecture and is capable of achieving extremely precise thickness measurements over a wide range. With a low range resolution of 0.1 μm, it is ideal for the packaging industry, especially the intricate requirements of bottle and container manufacturers.  However, its applications are not limited to containers. Since the MBTxt can be used to measure all types of non-ferrous materials up to 24mm thick, it is also equally suitable for automotive, aerospace, medical and similar applications where very accurate measurements are required yet portability is essential.

Measuring glass containers

At times, glass bottle and container designs can be complex.  With that, acquiring accurate thickness measurements in critical locations can be quite challenging.  The conical shape of the MBT sensor probe facilitates measurement in very intricate locations. This feature on the MBTxt probes, the high accuracy, and wide measurement range create a powerful measurement system that is aptly suited for measuring the diverse range of products in many glass production facilities. Routine bottle sidewall thickness measurements, difficult areas such as bottle heel, base and finish regions as well as heavily decorated areas can be achieved with ease and precision. Even extremely difficult-to-measure regions such as corner areas on non-round containers can be measured with the same accuracy as routine sidewall measurements.

In addition to measuring critical areas and complex shapes, the MBTxt can accommodate a range of material thicknesses. The availability of two easily interchangeable sensor probe options and the wide selection of target balls provide the versatility to measure very thin materials as encountered in tubing products and small vials with a low end range of 0-2mm (0.1 μm resolution) to applications where the material is very thick such as in champagne bottle bases, candle ware and similar products.

The MBTxt is available in two models. The MBT7200xt, a basic version, includes real-time measurement, display of minimum and maximum thickness and storage of up to 100,000 values. The MBT7400xt, an advanced version, includes the same capabilities plus statistical graphing, trending capabilities and an expanded database.  Interchangeable sensor probes are available for both units making it possible to configure the measurement range and precision appropriate for the application. A notable feature of the MBTxt is its expanded measurement range which is over twice the range of previous offerings.

Based upon the “Hall Effect” principal, the MBTxt features an advanced sensor design that works in conjunction with specially treated target balls to achieve the highest precision and repeatability. Balls of this design provide improved measurement reproducibility of up to 0.5% over untreated balls. The new “xt” version offers two sensor options, with ranges from 0-9mm and 0-24mm.  In addition to a re-designed sensor, the MBTxt is provided with a wider range of target balls, including specially configured “magnetic” balls, to facilitate greater flexibility and precision over an expanded thickness range.

Advanced probe design

One of the most profound features of the MBT7200/7400xt Gauging System is in the design of the sensor probes.  These incorporate a process called “integrated digital signal processing”, where all measuring signals are created and completely processed inside the sensor itself.  Only completely processed digital readings are transferred to the base unit for display, statistical analysis and storage.  Unlike analog devices, error influences on the measuring data during transfer over the cable (signal to noise ratio) are substantially reduced. This design ensures that measurements are true with the highest accuracy.

Hardened probe tip

The sensor probes on the MBTxt incorporate stainless steel housings and hardened carbide tips.  This design provides for a long service life and limited wear to the probe tip even when working with hard materials such as glass.  This is particularly important in the glass container industry.

Multiple calibration modes

In order to provide the most versatility with the highest accuracy for the given task, a selection of calibration modes are included with the MBTxt.  Available calibrations include a factory mode for quick and simple measurements, Zero point calibration (zero only) and multi-point calibration (zero + 1-4 points) for the highest accuracy. Once calibrated, the system’s “calibration memory” retains the calibration even with the unit turned off.

The MBTxt devices are battery operated and completely portable. The base unit is sized to fit in one’s hand and the combined base unit and probe weigh less than 1 Kg (2.2 lbs.). Additionally, each unit is supplied with its own carrying case to house the base unit, probes and accessories making it easy to transport to any location.

The internal data logger and statistical functions of the MBT7400xt facilitate data collection in production areas and QC laboratories, making it an ideal tool for data-gathering applications. A large digital display permits the operator to easily view current thickness readings as well as minimum and maximum measurements.  Stored measurements can be transferred to other devices via an RS232 or USB connection.  An optional foot switch is available for hands-free data capture.