Improved Pet Food Manufacturing Efficiency with Fully Automated Machine Vision Inspection System

EPIC successfully developed and implemented an innovative, fully automated machine vision inspection system for inline seal inspection, yielding substantial benefits for the customer including, significant labor cost reduction, increased production capability, improved product quality, and notable reduction in storage requirements. 

Hygienic Process System Design



  • Industry: Pet Food
  • Company Size: Over $1B in revenue
  • Location: USA
  • Customer Use Case: Seal Integrity Inspection



A prominent pet food manufacturer looked to overcome challenges posed by manual inline inspection processes. These production lines involved multiple operators inspecting individual products through an offline process. This manual inspection process was believed to contribute to defects, as it included tasks such as unpacking and repacking boxes. Additionally, this method required the product to be stored for a period of time before it could be sold, leading to increased production cycle times and associated costs.  



To address these challenges, EPIC Systems proposed a comprehensive, 100% automated inspection system to ensure every product meets quality standards before packaging.  

The proposed solution included custom manufactured skids each equipped with four vision stations, rejectors, a conveyor, rejection accumulation tables, and various associated mechanical, controls, and safety components for effective vision inspection operations. This mechanical system design was developed to seamlessly integrate with existing equipment. 

The nature of the problem meant that a traditional 2D solution would not deliver the required results. Specific inspection challenges were caused by the cup surface, including high reflectivity, waviness, and diverse designs. EPIC designed an innovative 3D solution to this problem. This advanced 3D camera solution was selected for its ability to enable precise image capture and analysis, delivering reliable defect detection while maintaining production speed and tolerance requirements.   

Seal Integrity Channel Leaker

Additionally, inspection results are displayed in real-time on the HMI interface, providing operators with immediate feedback on product quality. A stack light system offers visual indicators of system status, facilitating quick response to any operational issues. 



  • Improved Product Quality: The automated inspection system ensured higher product quality by detecting defects with greater accuracy and consistency, reducing the risk of substandard products reaching consumers. 
  • Increased Efficiency: Automation led to a reduction in manual labor requirements, streamlining the production process and minimizing the time required for inspection and packaging. 
  • Cost Savings: By decreasing labor costs and improving production efficiency, the customer achieved cost savings and enhanced overall profitability. 
  • Faster Production Cycle and Improved Cash Flow: The need for extended product storage then inspection was greatly reduced, resulting in faster to market times for product and increasing available warehousing space. This also increased customer’s food products’ stable shelf time in stores and/or customers’ shelves. 

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Our Solutions

EPIC Systems is a multidisciplinary engineering integrator specialized in industrial automation for process manufacturers. We deliver solutions in the following areas:

Process Systems

Machine Vision


Industrial Automation