Product spoilage caused by improperly closed packages cause serious problems for manufacturers, particularly those who deal in food. The cost of product returns and waste caused by contaminated or spoiled products can be significant. Our vision systems perform seal inspection on trays, packages and container closures to ensure products remain free from outside contamination.
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What defects are common in packaging seals?
Common seal defects include holes in the seal itself, product caught in the seal, and (more simply) improperly-applied seals. Another common defect is marring or unevenness in the sealing surface itself, which prevents a good seal.
How does seal inspection work?
Depending on a few factors – the seal type, the location, and the material the seal is made from – it is often enough for a camera to look for the presence of the seal material and identify any unusual markings. For clear seals, UV ink is often used to mark the seals, which cameras are able to spot by using specialized lights.
How reliably can a vision system spot flaws in a package seal?
Completely clear seals are difficult to inspect, as the system may not be able to reliably spot holes or gaps. Foil or colored seals are far easier to spot flaws in, although depending on how reflective the surface is it may be necessary to utilize specialized lighting in order to provide a clear image.
Can a Smart Camera Perform Seal Inspection?
Package seal inspection applications can vary immensely in terms of complexity, depending on the packaging material and the container shape. Simple presence inspections (that is to say, the presence or absence of a tamper evident band), can be easily accomplished using a smart camera. Detecting flaws in a seal is also frequently possible, although a more complex solution may necessitate the use of a PC based vision system.
What is the difference between a PC based vision system and a Smart Camera vision system?
Smart Cameras are completely self-contained systems which perform all the image processing and analysis work using an on-board CPU. Smart Cameras often feature integrated lighting as well, making them ideal for simple applications such as code reading. This simplicity is not without its drawbacks – on-board memory is naturally limited, meaning that a comprehensive record of all products inspected may not be possible. A PC-controlled system uses cameras which transmit images to a control PC which coordinates image capturing and processing. PC-controlled systems generally deliver faster processing times – which can be important for more complex applications – and carry the advantage of having far more memory to store different inspection profiles and inspection images.
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