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US6575016: Method for leak testing and leak testing apparatus

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Martin Lehmann ·
Assignee(s) None listed in document.
Attorney/Agent(s) Antonelli, Terry, Stout & Kraus, LLP ·
Primary Examiner Helen Kwok ·
Assistant Examiner David J. Wiggins ·
Application Number US10193914
Filing date 07/15/2002
Issue date 06/10/2003
Prior Publication Data
Predicted expiration date 05/27/2017
U.S. Classifications 73/493  · 73/52  · 73/40  ·
International Classifications --
Kind CodeB2
International Classifications 73 493 · 73 52 · 73 492 R · 73 492 T · 73 40 · 73 454 ·
Related U.S. Application DataThis application is a divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/944,407, filed Sep. 4, 2001, and now U.S. Pat. No. 6,439,033, issued Aug. 27, 2002, which is a divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/785,261, filed Feb. 20, 2001, and now U.S. Pat. No. 6,305,215, issued Oct. 23, 2001, which is a divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/568,288, filed May 10, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,202,477, issued Mar. 20, 2001, which is a divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/073,852, filed May 7, 1998 (claiming priority under 35 USC §119 to PCT/1B98/00309, filed Mar. 10, 1998), now U.S. Pat. No. 6,082,184, issued Jul. 4, 2000, which is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. application Ser. No. 08/862,993, filed May 27, 1997, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,907,093, issued May 25, 1999.
Foreign Priority WO20PCTIB9800309 - 03/10/1998 ·
40 Claims, 11 Drawings


Abstract

For leak testing closed containers (9) which are filled with a filling product containing at least one liquid component the container is introduced in a test cavity (1) which is evacuated at least down to vapour pressure of that liquid component. The pressure in the surrounding of the container (9) and thus within test cavity (1) is monitored. Monitoring is performed by a vacuum pressure sensor (7), whereas lowering pressure surrounding the container (9) is performed by a vacuum pump (5). Leakage is detected by monitoring a pressure change in the surrounding of the container which is due to evaporation of liquid emerging from a leak and being evaporated in the low pressure surrounding.

Independent Claims | See all claims (40)

  1. 1. A method for manufacturing closed, unleaky containers comprising: manufacturing closed containers; subjecting at least one of said containers to test conditions and thereby monitoring a signal, which is dependent on leak condition of said container; generating at least one signal derived from said signal monitored; comparing said signal derived with a dynamic threshold value for identifying leak condition of said container; enabling a further signal derived from said signal monitored to be averaged with similar further signals of other containers previously tested as unleaky, if said leak condition identifying of said container now under test reveals an unleaky container; deriving said threshold value from the result of said averaging; identifying said one container as unleaky in dependency of a result of said comparing.
  2. 27. A leak testing apparatus for leak testing at least one closed container comprising at least one testing station generating an output signal at an output, which is dependent on leak condition of a container introduced therein, said output of said testing station being operationally connected to an input of an evaluation unit, said evaluation unit comprising at least one comparator unit, one comparator unit input thereof being operationally connected to said input, a second input of said comparator unit being operationally connected to a controllable dynamic threshold value unit, an averaging unit controllably operationally connected to said input of said evaluation unit, said evaluation unit generating a leak-identifying signal, said leak-identifying signal controlling said operational connection between said input of said evaluation unit and said averaging unit, the output of said averaging unit controlling said controllable threshold value unit.

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents

Document NumberAssigneesInventorsIssue/Pub Date
US857388* Eno Jun 1907
US2784373* NAT RES CORP Lawrance et al. Mar 1957
US3381523 Nettles May 1968
US3973249* Toyo Aluminium K. K. Yokote et al. Aug 1976
US4320653* Arthur Pfeiffer-Vakuumtechnik Wetzlar GmbH Bernhardt Mar 1982
US4409817 Edwards, Jr. Oct 1983
US5199296* Lehmann Apr 1993
US5239859 Lehmann Aug 1993
US5482683 American Sterilizer Company Sheth et al. Jan 1996
US5513516 Visi-Pack, Inc. Stauffer May 1996
US5575265 Ltd. Hitachi Kurihara et al. Nov 1996
US5915270* Lehmann Jun 1999
US6082184 Martin Lehmann Lehmann Jul 2000
US6439032* Lehmann Aug 2002

Foreign Patent Documents

Document NumberAssigneesInventorsIssue/Pub Date
WO20A9405991Mar 1994
* cited by examiner

Other Publications

, vol.011, No. 252 (P-605), Aug. 15, 1997, and JP62 056831A (Shinkosumosu Denki KK), Mar. 12, 1987 *abstract*.
, vol. 012, No. 081 (M-676), Mar. 15, 1998 and JP62 220774A (Agency of Ind. Science and Technol), Sep. 28, 1987 *abstract*.
, vol. 095, No. 006, Jul. 31, 1995, and JP 07 072281A (Toshiba Corp.), Mar. 17, 1995 *abstract*.

Referenced By

Document NumberAssigneeInventorsIssue/Pub Date
US8544315 --

Patent Family

Document NumberAssigneeInventorsIssue/Pub Date
US20020178792 Martin Lehmann Dec 2002
US6575016 Martin Lehmann Jun 2003