What is vision inspection? And what problems can it address?

Matthews Australasia Pty Ltd

Thursday, 01 March, 2018

What is vision inspection? And what problems can it address?

Vision inspection can be an important QA/QC tool on production lines. This quick Q&A outlines how it can help you.

Q. Firstly, what is vision inspection?

A. “Vision inspection” or “machine inspection” is an automated system inspecting product quality, rather than doing it manually, resulting in objective QA.

Q. What problems can it address?

A. A wide variety of checks: code validation, item count, label inspection and validation, line monitoring, closure and seal validation, pick and place, packaging QA, matching components, empty container inspection and metal detection.

Let’s look at the top 5…

Q. What’s basic flaw detection?

A. Detecting flaws is vital to QC because manufacturers of food and beverages — from bottled water to wine — dairy products, snack foods, meat and smallgoods, baked goods, frozen food and so on can find blemishes, scratches, cracks, discoloration, pitting, etc., through empty container inspection and packaging QA.

Q. How does pick and place and robotic guidance work?

A. The vision system detects a part using shape-based object identification, then sends that part’s position and angle to the robot. The robot picks the part then places it in the correct orientation. This process can include quality assessment.

Q. And identification and validation?

A. Vision inspection can verify a code (such as a barcode, date or batch code, or 2D code) is present, properly positioned and formed correctly. It automatically identifies and rejects items with missing, incorrect or unreadable codes. Via system integration, codes can be validated to check they are correct for that product. Machine vision ID can be used in production-part traceability, WIP inventory management, verifying product lots and grading print codes.

Q. What about verifying parts, assemblies and packaged goods?

A. Verification can be combined with measuring part dimensions or reading product barcodes, to give a full product inspection, inline; e.g.: for blister packs, moulded parts, bottle cap and safety seals, print, and features such as threads, holes and notches. Packaging components (lids, containers, bases, shrink labels, outer packaging) can also be verified as correct for that product.

Q. And highly precise dimension and tolerance measurements?

A. Vision inspection is also very well used to accurately check dimensions and tolerances that need to be highly precise e.g. fill-level measurement.

Vision inspection provides precise, repeatable QC to ensure manufacturing accuracy.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Péter Mács

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