Identifying leaks in unit dose detergent packs are a challenge. Defects can be very small and sometimes the leaks only present themselves later in the production process. By then the leaks have spilled into hoppers and production lines, creating large amounts of downtime and waste. EPIC solved this problem using special lighting to clearly illuminate leaks, allowing the removal of defective packs before they progress downstream. Cleaning up any contamination early also avoids a larger contamination downstream.
CLIENT: Fortune 500 Consumer Products Company
INDUSTRY: Consumer Products
KEY ENGINEERING FEATURES:
- Specialty UV lighting with bandpass to illuminate product
- Cognex In-sight 5600 cameras
- Control Panel
- Touchscreen HMI
The client needed to ensure no leaking packs leave the discharge belt and into the hoppers. The current process of using a person to visually inspect for leaks was ineffective. The client needed a more consistent and effective solution to detect leaking detergent packs and reduce waste.
As detergent packs are filled and progress down the line, they first go through a roller to compress the packs and make any potential holes or defects larger. This roller helps identify any small defects that may not immediately leak. The packs then go through EPIC’s vision inspection system where special UV light causes any leaks to visibly glow. An HMI screen visibly displays any leaks, allowing the defective products to be removed and avoid any contamination to the line addressed.
All leaking packs are eliminated before they cause downtime or get packaged into containers. Other benefits of EPIC’s vision solution:
• Improved customer satisfaction and customer experience by eliminating sticky detergent packs
• Improved throughput by eliminating downstream contamination
• Reduced downtime by eliminating the need for more extensive cleaning
• Reduced waste by eliminating contaminated detergent packs
• Maintained a product accuracy of 99.99%, checking packs at a line speed of 15 fpm
THE EPIC DIFFERENCE
EPIC provided expert insight during the design, machine build, automation, and start-up process. Because of EPIC’s experience in the field, we were able to recommend the correct custom parts, including the custom machine vision system, and prevent problems before they arose.
The EPIC Difference includes several key features that assure the success of a project:
- 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
- A state-of-the-art shop which decreases down-time and increases the speed of project completion