The requirements of the vision solution included the use of food grade materials, adaptability to handle different packaging sizes, various sachet orientations, and the capability of matching or exceeding operator detection rates thereby removing the need for an operator.
Crossmuller utilized SICK PIM60 Inspector Smart Cameras to implement a 2 camera Quality Control vision solution. These cameras were housed in stainless steel enclosures which included AB Safety Guard Switches to ensure safe access onto the line and adjacent robot booth, and provided a controlled environment for the cameras to achieve maximum accuracy and consistency.
The system comprised one camera in each Robot Cell acting independently, to allow for asynchronous image triggering, processing and result outputs to the reject control system - a Rexroth PLC.
Each camera interfaced with an existing Rockwell CompactLogix PLC via digital inputs to automatically configure product-specific parameters.
Image triggering was controlled via SICK optical sensors mounted in each Vision Booth to provide consistent and independent image capture.
Image lighting was provided by built-in high intensity white LED ring lights on each Inspector camera.
The existing Rexroth PLC was utilized to receive the camera’s reject output and track the product to the reject chute at which time a pneumatically actuated arm was used to push defective units off the line.
Crossmuller utilized their extensive vision expertise to use the built-in vision tools on each camera to achieve a configuration that allowed the camera’s algorithms to be product size and orientation independent, thereby greatly simplifying the camera code required for the system and ensuring robust operation.
Crossmuller’s vision lighting expertise allowed the difficult, shiny silver sauce sachets with undulating surfaces to be handled effortlessly by the vision algorithms to ensure consistent sachet detection.