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.
Prior to a tray of vials being loaded in the freeze dryer, the number of vials needs to be counted and documented. Depending on the size of the vials, the number of vials on a tray can range from 100 to 225. Descrepencies between the manual count and actual count occur from time to time.
Due to the need for a continuous laminar airflow on the vials within the cleanroom, the vision system components could not be mounted directly above the vial tray. High-intensity side lights were deployed on the side of the tray. The vials would act as a light pipe allowing for sufficient contrast for the smart camera to identify and count the vials. The HMI of the software provided the Operator with an overlay for each bottle located, and a foot pedal allowed the Operator to acknowledge the count. The images were archived, and a PDF-generated report was saved to network storage at the end of the batch.
A labeling system was added to a mixed nut packaging line. A single line can process 16 different product lines at 120 - 150 jars per minute. Some products use very similar labels, with differences attributed to what country the product is being shipped to. Occasionally the wrong labels are loaded into the labeling system. If this goes unnoticed, a large number of jars need to have their labels removed, and new ones applied.
Cognex InSight cameras were mounted downstream from the labeler to view the front and backside of the jar. Multiple pattern matching zones were established to ensure no two different labels would generate a false positive and stored in a lookup table. Ethernet/IP communications was established between the PLC and the smart camera for effortless product changeovers via a PanelView HMI.
A filler machine adds powder to a dose pouch. If the douce pouch is not properly opened, then the product is spilled onto the bottom of the machine.
Cognex InSight program was developed to profile the outside shape of the dose pouch. If the center gap distance and area were too small then the filling is skipped for that dose pouch.
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.
2D barcode label was applied to the end of a syringe. Labels that are wrong or placement is out of specifications need to be rejected.
Cognex Smart camera was added to an existing label applicator machine. The syringe was rotated and 4 images were acquired. The 2D matrix on the barcode was verified against the SKU read in from the PLC. The label position was gauged relative to the tip of the syringe and all 4 images were used to calculate the label skew.
Catheters are placed into a vaccuum-formed pouch and then sealed to Tyvek. A CAPA event required automated inspection of catheter packaging inspection to ensure no portion of the catheter made it past the seal.
Multiple images were rapidly acquired as the product indexed past the sealing process and the seal zones were analyzed with a Cognex Smart Camera.
Product number, manufacturing date, and index are pressed into the surface of the railroad bearing. Since the characters are on a dial, if an individual character doesn't properly roll to the next character a duplicate serial number can be generated of the character is not fully formed.
The product was rolled until a laser sensor located the first character. A Cognex InSight line scan camera imaged the full length of the string and a pattern match was performed on each character.
Due to the variance in surface finish and impression depth (as the character die wore down), multiple images over the whole production were collected and a composite image for each character was generated. The composite image of the character was used to generate the pattern classifier.
A robotic system applies Loctite to various holes on an engine block. Insufficient application of Loctite can create quality issues.
An additive in the Loctite causes it to fluoresce if illuminated with UV lighting. Cognex InSight camera with a Blue bandpass filter image the Loctite application for presence and bead width and continuity.
The product is placed by a robot into a thermoformed package. If the product is not properly placed into the individual pockets it can create a problem with the top foil seal.
Cognex InSight and pattern matching were used to verify the product was seated correctly in the individual pockets. The product line was stopped for non-conformance.
After the products have been loaded into a vacuum-formed tray, a top foil is applied. If the wrong foil has been loaded into the machine, and if gone unnoticed for a while, a whole batch of products would need to be destroyed. Sealed and unsealed products can not be repackaged.
A Cognex Smart camera was used to pattern match key features of the print on the top foil. Mismatches will signal to the PLC to stop the line.
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.
Brazing paste is dispensed onto a sprocket gear before entering the oven. Too much, too little, or not in the correct position will cause a poor weld.
A Cognex InSight Camera was used to determine the orientation of the sprocket with pattern matching and provide offset information to the dispensing robot. The robot would dispense two blobs of paste between the teeth of the sprocket on opposite sides. After the application, the smart camera applied blob analysis to verify the amount of brazing paste dispense was within tolerance.
Tablet press machines over time require routine maintenance, and scheduling downtime can be a challenge. Having chipping or caping the tablet is considered a non-conformance and should be separated.
Cognex InSight camera located and fixtured image processing tools on the tablet. Blob detection tools were then used to locate edges in areas that should be quiet. Results were signaled to the PLC.
On pills/tablets with a surface coating, contract pharmaceutical manufacturers will print a brand/ID instead of making an imprint. Missing text or faded print is considered a non-conformance.
Cognex InSight smart camera located the print, and pattern matching scores were determined for individual characters. Pattern match scores below a specific threshold were rejected.