Engineers ataku.automation (Aalen, Germany) have installed a machine vision system from Cognex (Natick, MA, USA) in the Knorr packaging plant in Heilbronn, Germany to check the seals on sachets of food products such as Fix Spaghetti Bolognese, Fix Goulash and Fix Pot Roast.
Until recently, Knorr had assigned staff to look for broken seals on the products at the end of the production line. Although this worked well and customers had not been submitting claims for product defects, Knorr wanted Cognex's smart vision system to ensure that 100 percent of all defects were identified.
The vision system that aku.automation deployed comprised an In-Sight Micro vision system, In-Sight Explorer vision software with PatMax pattern recognition software and a Cognex VisionView 700 visualization panel.
The In-Sight vision system inspects the fine relief of the welded seam, while the PatMax pattern software checks the angle the welded seam makes with the outer edge of the sachet. Any material overlaps or defective welds are detected immediately and the product is removed from the production line.
The VisionView 700 visualization panel provides password-protected user controls for setting the parameters of the system without the need for a PC. This enables the Knorr employees to configure the system after a short training period.
-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor,Vision Systems Design