R&R have developed a system for optically checking packs that exit a shrink-wrapper or other packing machine (so long as the product is visible from above).
The System can be retro-fitted to an existing packing line, anywhere between the wrapper and palletiser processes.
The orientation of the pack is not critical – as long as the pack is the within 30 degrees of square with respect to the selected pack pattern, then the analytical software will correctly identify the container positions and reject faulty packs.
The visual recognition system is capable of analysing 22 packs per minute.
Typical reasons for failing:
- Missing container
- Missing or incorrect cap
- Incorrect vertical orientation of product.
- Every pack is automatically analysed – no need for an operator to manually inspect each pack before the palletising process.
- No more incorrect packs are sent for palletising.
- A pack rejected by the system is far less costly than a pallet of packs rejected by the customer.
The System comprises of three distinct sections:
- The Camera Cowl, which mounts the Camera and LED lighting.
- The Control Panel, which houses the Camera Control system, Display, and PLC.
- The Pack Reject System, which consists of a pneumatic ram, junction box and rejected pack holding table.
The front of the Control Panel has the following:
- LED display for the Camera System.
- Emergency Stop – Isolates the Reject Solenoid and operates the air dump valve.
- Alarm Reset (blue pushbutton) – Silences the Audible Alarm.
- Power On (white lamp) – Indicates the 24VDC Power Supply is functioning.
- System Running (green lamp) – Indicates the Camera System is ready.
- Main Isolator Handle.
The Top of the Control Panel has the following:
Beacon Stack (red, amber & green Beacon, plus multi-tone Sounder)
Beacon Lit (green) – Camera System Running
Beacon Lit (amber) – Rejected pack holding table full
Beacon Lit (red) – Camera System Stopped
Beacon Audible Alarm – Camera System Stopped
- There is an optical sensor on the Infeed of the Cowl to detect a pack for inspection.
- There is an optical sensor on the Outfeed of the Cowl to detect a pack for rejection.
- There is an optical sensor on the reject pack holding table to indicate no more available storage for rejected packs.
Pack Camera System Control Philosophy:
- The camera takes an image of the pack as it passes, and the control software analyses the image.
- The Camera System contains its own software for recognizing packs for rejection (containers incorrect or missing).
- This software derives three values for each ‘station’ in a Pack – Hue, Saturation, Brightness. The ‘stations’ are compared with each other, and any ‘station’ that deviates by more than the set tolerance triggers a ‘Fail’.
- This signals the PLC to reject incorrect packs as necessary once they trigger the ‘reject’ optical sensor.
- If the pack fails, a high-speed pneumatic ram pushes the pack off the conveyor onto the Reject Table.
- The LED display shows the output from the camera, which highlights ‘pass’ or fail’ for each station in a pack.