A shrink wrap product sleeve is placed onto the bottle before entering into a steam tunnel. Occasionally the shrink wrap label is not in the correct position or gets snagged. This causes an unaesthetic package that is not suitable for retail. Each bottle must be manually inspected prior to filling. Shrink wrap colors are anything across the rainbow and many shades in between, including shades of white placed on a white bottle.
The bottle is side-belt transferred to an exit conveyor, and the bottle is inspected with a GigE camera. Using a combination of UV and white LED lighting, along with a specialty cut filter, the UV lighting causes a blue shift in the color of the product sleeve, while the color of the white bottle appears to be grey. Due to the reliability with traditional color segmentation working with greys, an in-house custom color segmentation routine was used to segment the exposed bottom of the bottle that is not covered by the product sleeve. This allowed the bottle to be profiled and measured, allowing for a quantitative pass/fail decision.
When customers are finished with a laser ink cartridge, they often send it back using the return box provided with new cartridges. These cartridges are returned to centralized recycling centers across the country by the truck loads. Used cartridges are removed from their packaging and thrown onto a conveyor belt for manual sorting. As volumes steadily increase, additional workforce is required to aid in the sorting. Since the recycling center is credited for each cartridge processed and specific cartridges have a higher number of recyclable components than others, an accurate count of models is highly desired.
PC-based vision system monitors the conveyor for cartridges as they enter into the field of view. At this point, it makes note of the cartridge's encoder location and its orientation. Using a blob tool, the system pre-classifies cartridges based on their shape using a high-end multi-core processor for parallelized pattern matching. Subsequent secondary pattern matching is performed in some instances to identify other key markers when subcategorization is required. A local register retains counts of each cartridge identified. Encoder location, orientation, and cartridge ID are passed to a spider robot to pick and place the cartridges into large bins. Multiple instances and orientations of well over one hundred cartridges were trained into the system.
QR code and human-readable text on the trading card would occasionally not match, either due to misconfiguration by the Operator or buggy remote software by the Vendor.
The system was deployed with surplus stock in less than two weeks, using 4VT's standard framework and a VisionPro Quickbuild script. Cards were fed onto a vacuum belt, triggered by a photoeye, and if there was no match, the system would blow the product off at the air gap between the vacuum belt and the accumulator belts at a rate of 10 cards per second.
The existing smart sensor did not have the tools to determine if label placement was out of spec. Quality Department requested the ability to make sure that the Lot/Date code is present.
The line was moved from another facility to a local one, and no documentation could be found. The existing controls system was reverse engineered, and the vision camera was upgraded to a Cognex InSight that mimicked the old system. Retrofit required the removal of some of the existing material handling components, which were removed, modified, and installed over a long weekend. The system was successfully brought online for the start of production.
After the nail polish bottle has been capped, a consumer label is applied to the top of the cap that indicates the color name and product number. Space constraints prevented an inspection camera from being placed after the label applicator, so the Vision System needs to compensate for 360 orientation of the label.
With some blob morphology techniques, the orientation of the text can be determined. Afterward, an OCR tool was applied to read the text. If the text found did not match the HMI, the product was rejected.
2D barcode labels are automatically applied to the tub base of a washing machine. Occasionally the label has poor print quality or is not applied correctly.
Using Cognex Dataman Barcode reader a custom script was created to handshake between the barcode printing/label applicator. After the label was applied the Dataman Reader verified that the label was readable and the data matched.
A Temp labor team assembled packaging for box displays for a Trading Card game. Occasionally cards or accessories were incorrect or missing.
The product enters a multicamera light tunnel and a QA engineer uses a Wizard to draw ROIs for each card and accessory. Cognex VisionPro's PatMax was used for its robust pattern matching algorithms. The system would stop the conveyor once it exited the light tunnel if there was a mismatch or no match, and turn on a stack light.
Inkjet printer applies a lot and date code on round vitamin bottles. Jams or other printing issues can make the lot or date code unreadable.
Smart Camera was added to the system downstream from the Inkjet printer. System was presented with multiple instances of character from 0 - 9 and trained. PLC pushed the current Lot/Date code to the camera and the Smart Camera verified that it was a match.
Key blanks for major retailers are plated, stamped and channels cut. Non-conformances can include poor plating, poor stamping, misaligned stamping, and misaligned channels.
The system was trained with the average composite image of 10 or more keys. Cognex PatInspect and additional image processing were used to determine the difference image, then blob analysis determined pass/fail result.
A large print shop was contracted for coupons. The coupons are serialized and encoded with a 1D barcode to prevent fraud.
Cognex Dataman with an HMI was used to ensure readability. The operator entered the start and end sequence of the serialization. Dataman would send a reject/stop signal to the PLC if the barcode was not readable or out of sequence.
Ice containers getting filled with the wrong product, if uncaught until later can create a costly recall.
Prior to filling multiple Cognex barcode readers oriented around the ice container looked for a 2D barcode and verified that it matched the SKU provided by the PLC
Ice containers getting filled with the wrong chocolate-covered ice cream nuggets, if uncaught until later, can create a costly recall.
Two Cognex InSight cameras were set up on opposite sides of the oval container. Pattern matching was done on the picture label to verify the match based on the SKU. On the ingredient label, the UPC code was verified against the SKU.
Vinyl floor manufacturer was looking to increase the consistency of their product by detecting foreign color chips, shade breaks, and "eye poppers." Vinyl flooring is made by grinding up various color chips, heating them, and rolling them flat. Since broken tiles are often ground and put back in the mix, any tiles left over from the previous batch run could introduce undesirable variances.
A PC-based vision system segmented the image for the tile. During the training, the process scanned and identified all the grouped colored signatures, including the background average color—tiles with background shade breaks and non-conformances were rejected. After multiple consecutive rejects, an operator was alerted.