Vision inspection systems use cameras to automate visual inspections of products, identifying and separating defects while maintaining high productivity. Here, we’ll explore what vision inspection systems do and how they can be used for inspecting cap lining during production.
What Are Vision Inspection Systems?
Vision inspection systems are automated devices that use cameras, video, lighting, and software to visually inspect products. They verify that products meet the manufacturer’s specifications and quality control standards. In manufacturing, vision inspection systems examine products for defects, functional flaws, contaminants, and other irregularities. For example, they can examine pharmaceutical tablets for flaws and inspect displays to confirm pixel presence or verify text and icons.
Traditional inspection methods typically require human operators to visually inspect and measure materials as they cycle through a system. Usually, this means inspecting products after a production run or inspecting a percentage of products during production. Plus, it runs the risk of human error. In contrast, automated high-speed inspection systems quickly and accurately check products for consistency in the production line in real time.
The Integration of Vision Inspection Systems in Cap Lining Technology
In the food and beverage industry, a missing or incomplete cap liner can lead to product waste, expensive rework, and diminished consumer trust in your product. As a result, it’s crucial to immediately identify and correct issues in production that affect poor bottle seals. When vision inspection systems are placed in the production line, they can immediately alert operators to any potential lining or cap technology problems. Systems conduct real-time inspections to recognize:
- Liner Presence and Positioning: Systems recognize when liners are missing or improperly applied and alert operators.
- Moon Cuts: Vision systems can detect when a liner has been improperly cut, typically when a moon-shaped disc is present instead of the full circle. This indicates mis-timing of the punch and die system.
- Splice Tape: When operators splice two webs of lining material together, they may forget to jog the splice through the system. The vision system will automatically detect splice tape and advance the web through the tool, preserving tool life and guaranteeing no splice tape makes it to the final product.
- Short Shots: Vision systems can measure the skirt height of each cap to ensure there are no short-shots making it into the finished goods.
Vision inspection systems are essential to quality control in food packaging and other industries that require bottle capping. In addition to verifying proper capping, vision inspection systems perform these essential applications:
- Checks for the presence or absence of critical parts or feature
- Conducts pattern matching to detect whether the right product is running through the system
- Confirms that barcodes are present and legible to comply with traceability requirements
- Recognizes optical characters and correct colors
- Sorts products in the production line according to predetermined categories
Benefits of Vision Inspection Systems in Cap Lining Technology
Vision inspection systems use a suite of software tools to perform different types of visual inspections. Their speed, versatility, and accuracy enable them to keep up with highly regulated, high-volume manufacturing cycles.
Accuracy and Precision
A vision system uses multiple vision sensors to closely inspect each product. These sensors can detect millimeter-level defects to ensure that even minor imperfections are identified. In contrast, traditional manual inspections are less consistent and accurate, prone to human error.
Speed and Efficiency
Vision inspection equipment uses statistical analysis to inspect products in real time as they move through the production line. They can inspect tens of thousands of caps per hour, far surpassing manual inspection rates. Since they can share data with other production equipment on the line, they can make adjustments to system settings on the fly, further improving efficiency.
The ability to identify and rectify packaging defects in real time enables companies to reap substantial savings over time due to fewer recalls, minimized human error, and reduced product waste.
Food products and pharmaceuticals are subject to strict quality control regulations. Vision inspection systems can validate various properties of liner discs in lined caps and properties of the molded closure. With specialized cameras, integrated backlighting, and ejectors to remove defective items from the line, the system can identify and isolate defects to ensure your products meet the required standards and specifications.
Since visual inspection systems operate using statistical data and visual recognition, they provide unbiased, consistent inspections that do not require operator decision-making. As a result, human error is eliminated and quality meets the necessary standards.
Vision Inspection Systems from Big Sky Engineering
At Big Sky Engineering, we have extensive experience programming and integrating custom vision inspection solutions from trusted suppliers, such as Keyence, Cognex, and Omron. Our high-tier partnerships with these and other suppliers ensure that all our customers get the high-quality vision inspection systems they need at the best price. Our team also stays up-to-date on the latest advancements in vision inspection and optical sensor technology, so we can develop and deliver cutting-edge solutions to our customers.