In a recent article we talked about the use of machine vision in the ever-expanding food and beverage industry. Using smart cameras to check bottles allows for packaging facilities to inspect the entire bottle without anyone ever touching one.

Before any bottle can be inspected for accuracy, the empty bottle is first checked. Empty bottle visual inspection systems enable quality control systems on empty bottles and jars made of either glass or PET. It checks to ensure that the containers themselves are in good condition, i.e., no chips,or other defects, and that they are free from foreign objects and any liquid residue prior to them being filled.Machine Vision Water Bottle Inspection

Smart cameras, i.e., machine vision systems, perform multiple automated inspections at various points of each bottle as it passes down the line.

Things like:

Neck Inspection: The camera can be programmed to check for a sunken neck, deformed ring, broken seams, cracks in the ring, or a tear in the neck.

Base Inspection: Things like an uneven base, a foreign object, or reading the mold code on the bottle are all done using automation.

Other Visual Inspections: These inspections include ensuring the label is aligned properly, that there are no wrinkles or air pockets in or under the label, the expiry date is clear, and that the fill level is accurate.

After both the outside and inside of a container is inspected, a pass/fail decision is made and is used to reject any bad bottle. However, if there is not an integral flaw in the container, and it simply needs to be cleaned out, it’s possible to have the line simply move the bottle aside to be cleaned and then re-used. With the use of a sophisticated operator user interface (UI) this is possible and can handle many multiple inspection configurations required for various part types and sizes.

The UI system can be a PC-based program that is designed specifically for smart cameras when checking bottles.  If a part is deemed by the system to be a defect, then the programmable logic controller is used to trigger a mechanism that can direct the part to a reject bin for further inspection.

Systems put into place using smart cameras can perform many tasks – such as:

  • Multiple inspection point integration under one console
  • Online production monitoring and quality assurance
  • Proactive cause discovery and trend analysis
  • Data and image capturing and archiving
  • Performance management dashboard
  • Black and white or color inspection with universal lighting
  • High speed inspection repeatability with low false reject rates
  • Adjustable control for reject rate
  • Online production monitoring from internet browser
  • Reject cause and trend analysis
  • Trainable and configurable system with NO programming needed
  • Intelligent vision modules to detect defect patterns with 360-degree coverage regardless of orientation and dimensions
  • Accurate measurement down to µm level

Using smart cameras to check bottles will help any packaging plant to remain competitive in the growing industry. The use of technology is on the rise, and at Universe Optics we will provide you with a lens we already have in stock, or we can design and craft a precision lens to meet your exact specifications.