Part Deux: What’s Happening in EPIC’s Vision System Lab

by | EPIC Machine Vision

Are you interested in a machine vision system to help with quality control at your manufacturing plant? Chances are we have engineered systems similar to your upcoming project. Below you will find the second part of “What’s Happening in EPIC’s Vision System Lab,” which highlights vision applications we are currently working with.

If you missed the first post, click here to get caught up…

label inspection vision systemMissing Label Inspection Vision System

Currently, our vision system engineers are working on a missing label application for a food and beverage manufacturer. They are engineering one vision system to inspect bottles for missing labels for over a dozen product types that run on the same line.

The vision system for this application is a fully automated three-camera set-up that checks for missing back, neck and body labels at 750 parts/minute. The system is automated to adjust camera settings for whichever product type is running on the line.

Prior to the automated vision changeover, a product conversion required operators to manually adjust multiple sensors.

The upgraded system increases detection accuracy and reduces downtime during a product conversion. With the fully automated vision system, new detection settings are loaded with the press of a button.

Defect Inspection for Cylindrical Tubes

Another project we are working on is a defect inspection for cylindrical tubes. This specific project is part of a global roll-out, meaning the vision system will be duplicated and installed into multiple manufacturing plants across the globe for the same client.

As the cylinder tubes move down the line, they are filled, sealed, capped, lined, and labeled. This application is inspecting for six different defects at different stages in the process.

  1. Accurate Fill Levels
  2. Sealant Application Defects or Signs of Leaking
  3. Placement & Presence of Cap
  4. Lining Presence Verification
  5. Critical Dimensions Check
  6. Label Dents or Wrinkles

Our vision system engineers are perfecting this system to meet the client’s inspection rate goal of 900 parts/min or 15 parts/second with a 1 in 3000 false failure rate.

Vision system testingPlastic Container Molding Defect Inspection

EPIC was recently contacted by a plastic container manufacturer in need of a vision system to detect molding and print defects on plastic containers used to package food. They were receiving complaints about the containers leaking and the barcodes not scanning properly at check-out.

Our machine vision engineers are working on this two-part vision system that will inspect an average of 450 containers per minute. The first part consists of three standard resolution cameras positioned 120o apart to provide a 360view of the plastic container to detect holes, thin spots, and other molding defects. The second part of the vision system consists of a hi-res camera that checks the readability of the label and barcode to ensure the container is free of print errors.

Web Defect Inspection

An ongoing global roll-out project that our engineers are currently working on is a defect inspection for web based production lines. For this application vision engineers are detecting over 50 different defects with eight line scan cameras. Some defects our engineers are looking for include: tears, holes, folds, excess material, relative position of elements, and foreign objects.

Another factor that plays a role in this project is the variation in regional quality requirements. Since this vision system is replicated and placed in manufacturing plants globally, our engineers have to account for all regional quality requirements. Instead of adjusting each system to meet each regions individual requirements, and maintaining multiple regional variants of the system, our engineers have designed a single platform that aligns to the most stringent quality requirements from all the different regions variations with minimal scrap. Thus, making the system easier to replicate, ship, install, support, and manage at all of the various global locations.

The vision system currently inspects at over 1000 parts/minute with over 99% accuracy. Like many manufacturers, our client plans to continue increasing production rates to nearly 1700 parts/minute, so our vision engineers are working to achieve the higher inspection speeds and further reduce the false failure rate.

If you have specific questions or would like more information on our vision system capabilities, please contact an engineer…

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