Jar Filler Inspection System
An international food manufacturer approached us to help improve their existing inspection process.
Their current jar filler system required the checks to be completed manually. Unfortunately, this hands-on approach meant that there was a higher risk for human error, as well as being a time consuming and costly process. Acknowledging this, the company enlisted in our help to develop an automated vision based inspection system specifically for the purpose of inspecting their products.
Using their extensive vision knowledge, our engineers designed a system combining various cameras and sensors to track and monitor the food jars traveling on a conveyor at a rate of 0.5m/s. A encoder would be mounted on the conveyor, allowing the jars position to be tracked. When in position, a 360° image is captured by five cameras placed strategically within the system.
Once captured, the bespoke PC Software, based on MVTech’s Halcon library processes each image identifying features & checking they fall within the configured tolerances. If a situation arises where a jar fails these checks, it will then be rejected from the conveyor using a pneumatic ejection system.
In addition to identifying faulty jars of food produce, the software also maintains a statistical database that can highlight to an operator the type of rejects – either from missing labels, seals or date codes – that are occurring. It also generates data on how many of the inspection parameters, such as the colour of the labels, were within specification during production run. This information is collated into Excel spreadsheet files to enable production personnel to visualise the data form the system.
The system can also export images of the jars from a production run, enabling engineers working remotely to analyse the effectiveness of the system while in operation, and to perform any software modifications that may be required.
We installed two of these systems on site, providing this food manufacturing company with a more time and cost-efficient process.
Thanks to it’s design, the inspection system can be altered where needed to carry out different inspections should the company want to do so. This key element of the design provides a versatile system that the company can continue to use as their business grows.
Since the installation of this upgrade, they are now able to inspect jar food products at a rate of 150 jars per minute.