According to a 2020 report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), as many as 600 million people – almost 1 in 10 people in the world – fall ill after eating contaminated food and approximately 420,000 of those die every year. These alarming figures reflect the innumerable unnoticeable errors that occur in the production of food products.
Spoiled, mislabelled, unhygienically-packaged food products can often go unnoticed by the traditional inspection processes. This is where machine vision systems come into play. These systems are equipped with cameras and software to detect even the smallest errors in products on a manufacturing line. This saves food producers from fines or litigation and ensures high safety and consistency levels while also keeping production time and costs down. No wonder most agricultural and packaging industries seem to be transitioning from traditional functioning methods to advanced machine vision systems.
Food producers turn to these automated machine vision systems as they are an effective and efficient means to evaluate the quality of food products. These systems help them maintain regulatory compliance and follow food safety standards. But how do they work?
How do machine vision systems work?
Machine vision technology uses automated cameras and software, which are mounted over the assembly lines. These systems inspect products and check for inconsistencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without breaks and any human intervention. This, in turn, increases output while maintaining quality.
Machine vision systems are designed to spot foreign items that can make their way into products and damage their quality. No spoiled food product is spared from the careful inspection that the cameras of these vision systems perform.
These inspection systems are also useful in the production process and help in the tracking of ingredients and coding so that the product codes, dates, lots, and barcodes do not get mixed up during the production process. The efficient machine vision systems keep a history of each package, and when required, manufacturers can go back and look through the log.
Once through with the production process, the food products are labelled, and industrial vision systems show their expertise at this stage as well. They are equipped to spot any mislabelled products and notify the workers so that the issue (often a human error) can be rectified. Mislabelled products are dangerous for people with allergies, but there are no such mistakes when vision systems are incorporated in the manufacturing process.
Along with labelling, the cameras and accompanying lenses that machine vision systems are outfitted with can detect packaging errors. Damaged packaging can taint a company’s image before its target audiences, but as vision systems inspect and remove all errors before the products are distributed to the public, there are no such problems.
At Universe Optics, we design and manufacture custom optical lenses that empower these machines and make all these tasks possible. If you want our experts to design custom lenses for your machine vision systems, you can call us today at 1-516-624-2444. We will assist you with all of your design considerations.