B. Braun, a global maker of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, needed to develop current Good Manufacturing Practices that meet the highest quality standards while automating the documentation of every product. Working with AVI Technology (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), a PPT Vision (Bloomington, MN, USA; www.pptvision.com) integration partner, B. Braun had several machine-vision systems installed at its Penang, Malaysia facility.
To inspect medical needles, the integrator used a PPT9200 high-resolution camera running Impact software to measure the needle length and available insertion depth. This application requires a 10-μm repeatability, with 60+ product types ranging from 25 mm to 100 mm in length. Up to eight images along the length of the needle were taken and stitched together before the final measurement was taken.
A high-precision reference plate is positioned next to the needle to provide stitching references. Precision indexing hardware, vibration isolator, and special shields to minimize interference from exterior lights were a few of the challenges that had to be met. Needles produced by different machines have a certain allowable bend, bevel angle, and twist angle tolerances, which results in varying inspection settings for each product type.