John Lewis, Editor, email@example.com
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• PACKAGING AUTOMATION
Vision system helps sort, orient and
collate mixed product
Consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers must profitably meet, on an order-by-order basis, the increasingly varied packaging needs of retail customers and consumers.
People want custom orders and mass customization, but that’s not how manufacturers
make or package goods. Rather, profit margins depend on production efficiencies gained
from larger batches and longer production runs. So,
after producing products in a range of sizes and formats, stored bulk totes containing the same type of
product are often broken up into individual packages, which are sorted, re-oriented, and collated
into point-of-purchase displays, variety packs, and
custom orders of mixed-products.
Until recently, the only alternative to manual sorting by humans were highly engineered package feeding conveyor systems. Such
3D vision harvests
There is a growing demand from supermarkets to provide products with the
correct weight, size, shape and quality.
To meet these demands, automated harvesting systems must inspect products
such as potatoes, carrots and broccoli for
these features as well as characterizing
any defects and disease.
At present, many harvesting methods are performed manually. Harvesting
a large amount of product and then sorting those that are suitable for sale, however, may result in wastage since a supermarket may only require products of a
To overcome this, the sorting task can
be performed in the field so that the
product can be graded
• INDUSTRIAL INSPECTION
Vision system inspects injection
molded tube shoulders
Engineers at the VISTION d.o.o. company (Ljubljana, Slovenia; www.vistion.
si), along with its client the SIBO GROUP
(Škofja Loka,Slovenia; www.sibo-group.eu)
have developed a machine vision system for
inspecting injection-molded tube shoulders
for short shot molds.
“Such defects occur when the plastic
mass in the mold does not develop the cor-
rect roundness,” explains Rok Mihelj, Co
Founder Vistion d.o.o. “Injection problems of
tube shoulders happen at random and result
in short shot caps, which are highly undesir-
able and often result in complaints.”
The goal was to retrofit the machine vision
solution directly on the machine’s tools for
plastic molding to save production space.
Since tubes are not sorted after being ejected
from the molding machine, implementing a
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Using a combination of 3D laser scanners,
robotics, image processing and deep
learning software, Capture Automation
is developing systems to automate the
harvesting of broccoli heads.
Douglas Machine Inc. and Datalogic have recently
teamed up to develop a vision-guided robotic pick
and sort system that also re-orients and collates
mixed-product packaged in flexible bags at an upper
throughput limit of about 100 ppm.
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