Consumer Product Machine Vision System
EPIC UPGRADES PERSONAL CARE PRODUCT LINE
A consumer products manufacturer needed a custom machine vision system on a personal care product line that could be duplicated for multiple systems.
Industry: Consumer Products
KEY ENGINEERING FEATURES:
- Custom machine vision system to identify multiple defects in production
- Complete vision system programming includes low false identification rates
- Development of a standard vision kit to be used on domestic and international lines
- High speed process
- Remote installation without direct supervision by EPIC Systems
- Multiple defect inspection
- Repeatable performance in multiple systems
AN EPIC SOLUTION:
EPIC first completed preliminary design to assure the most efficient process and accurate cost quotation. After reviewing the objectives and challenges with the client, EPIC’s engineers completed an analysis of the line and created an implementation plan that included the following elements:
- Cameras programmed separately to identify a unique set of defects at different stages in the continuous process
- Standard mechanical mount development and camera programming to create an easy to assemble and install kit
- Lighting and optics robustness study to determine capability to attain repeatable performance in multiple installations
- Standardized camera programs to identify proper features and parameters for defect identification over a wide range of operating conditions
- Standardized installation and calibration hardware and procedures to enable global rollout of standard hardware and software
EPIC’s Proven Solution
EPIC worked closely with the client to extract specifications for the defects to be identified. Multiple lighting and optics studies with different lenses and cameras were performed to determine the robustness of the application. Lighting strategy played a key role in the success of the defect detection. Camera mounting angles and brackets were explored and EPIC’s vision lab determined the optimum position for consistently capturing defects.
Once it was determined that consistent results that met the expectations of the client could be extracted by the machine vision system, standardized kits were developed. A standard mechanical bracket for each camera and a standard camera program were developed so that kits be sent to multiple locations and installed easily. These kits were installed on multiple lines by the client without direct supervision by EPIC.
Each camera on the production line looks for a number of different defects as the product is formed. Based on size and shape of a defect free product, the camera can pick out defects as they form in the subcomponents, and signal the line to reject that product. A positively identified defect causes a product to be removed from the line. Defect free products continue through the line and are packaged into bags and boxes.
- Production speed was maintained while inspections took place
- Dramatic reduction in the number of defective products leaving the plant
- Waste kept to a minimum by maintaining a low false identification rate
- Time and money expenditure kept to a minimum by creation of a standard kit
- Programs designed for simple interface to allow technicians to monitor and adjust camera detections as necessary
THE EPIC DIFFERENCE
Through customer review, EPIC was identified as an integral part of the client team. The manufacturer viewed us as a partner, trusted to ensure the results met their needs. The client could take advantage of EPIC’s vast machine vision expertise to get the best solution, knowing that their success was our success.
The EPIC Difference includes several key features that assure a projects success:
- Front-End Engineering to ensure that the proper steps are taken during project scope development
- Plant engineering experience that assists clients to identify needs, pinpoint objectives and provide the most appropriate manufacturing equipment for the application
- Open door client policy to promote innovation. We invite clients to visit EPIC to experiment with new processes, technologies and techniques that push the limits of traditional engineering.
- Accountability to responsibly manage our clients’ projects from start-to-finish and beyond.
- A transfer of knowledge (not just a basic training) for the systems and equipment we provide
- Single point of direct contact during the entirety of the project
- State-of-the-art shop which decreases down-time and increases the speed of project completion