Machine Vision Inspection and Automated Weighing

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Jan 20, 2014

In recent years, packaging equipment has been increasing in throughput to the point that it is not feasible to have someone manually inspect your products with satisfactory results.

carcass grading

Operator grading carcasses via a touchscreen

Line speeds have just become too fast. There fore  you are left with two choices. The first is to inspect a random sampling of your products and hope that it is representative of all the rest. The second choice is to inspect each and every single product that goes across the production line with the use of a machine vision inspection system that does not get fatigued or whose decisions won’t change based on the mood it is in. A machine vision inspection system will inspect every single product that goes across the production line based on the same criteria every time!

Machine vision technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, bringing the price down, while at the same time increasing its capabilities. We have been in the machine vision business for more than 20 years. That allows us to bring some options to the table that other suppliers cannot.

carcass grading

Carcass Grading Software Images

Paired with our expertise in the automated weighing field, we can combine aspects of automated weighing and machine vision to provide you with a checkweigher that can also do vision inspection. Let’s use a frozen pizza manufacturer for an example. Today, they are making sausage pizzas, and in order to be in tolerance, a sausage pizza is to weigh between 450 and 465 grams. Our checkweighers can easily determine if this pizza is in spec as far as weight, and so can many other manufacturers. But, how many of those other manufacturers can also assure you that the sausage pizza is in a sausage pizza box and not a pepperoni pizza box, and that the barcode on the box can be read by a scanner? We can also protect your brand by making sure that all the colors are absolutely correct and that images are not blurred.

Another good application where machine vision and scales work well together is in an environment where several different products are produced at the same time. This may require more than one checkweigher to run the different products or an operator to be stationed at the checkweigher to change the product number as the different products come to the scale. When coupled with a good machine vision system, the system could be trained to automatically change the parameters in the checkweigher.

By putting these two inspection systems together, you really get a complete inspection system that has many benefits. Because the two systems will share some common components like conveyors and controllers, you will wind up with a much smaller footprint saving some valuable floor space, and costs can be brought way down due to eliminating the redundancy in components.

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