To determine the integrity of packaged ear droppers, vision system integrator Olmec-UK (www.olmec-uk.com) has designed a machine-vision system for Thornton & Ross (www.thorntonross.com), a large pharmaceutical manufacturer.
Droppers enclosed in clear plastic must be inspected while moving along a conveyor to ensure that both the packaging and a dropper fitted with the correct unbroken cap are present. Since the droppers' packaging has a crimp seal running along the length of the package and the droppers are presented in a random orientation, it is possible that this seal may obscure the view of the dropper.
So rather than use a single linescan camera to image the parts as they move along the conveyor, Olmec engineers deployed two Teledyne DALSA Spyder 3 linescan cameras positioned 90° apart to capture two opposing views of the droppers. To illuminate the parts, each camera is used in conjunction with an LED illumination source from CCS Inc. so that acquiring an image from each camera ensures at least one good image or composite image will be obtained.
Each linescan camera acquires data at a rate of 200 µsec/line, and the cameras and their light sources are operated individually. Both cameras transfer images to the system's host PC over the GigE Vision interface under control of Olmec's VP3 user interface for Windows. The system is capable of inspecting 180 droppers per minute.