Inspection and monitoring systems perform reliably in high-speed conditions.
In high-speed packaging operations, you cannot rely on operators alone to catch errors. The success and efficiency of fast, automated packaging lines depend upon some sort of inspection system. A wide variety of systems, ranging from simple sensors to sophisticated x-ray or video equipment, can detect any out-of-specification conditions in label placement, bottle and tube filling, cartoning, form-fill-seal packaging, and handling and storing operations.
A microelectronic temperature sensor and alarm is a full-feature temperature-sensing data logger with programmable capabilities. The Xi3 unit provides an illuminated visual signal of shipment condition. Complete temperature and time data can be downloaded in graphical and tabular format into a PC or notebook. The system's soft and hard data protocols are easily programmable by the user through Windows 95, 3.1, or NT. All data can be programmed in either the Centigrade or the Fahrenheit temperature scale. Standard logging intervals are 5 minutes with optional intervals available up to 4000 recording points. The mean kinetic temperature is automatically recorded and displayed upon download. TCP/Reliable Inc., Edison, NJ.
An x-ray inspection system monitors the liquid levels of metal, glass, or plastic containers at speeds up to 1200 bottles per minute. The FT-50 system can detect containers with unacceptable levels and automatically activates a downstream reject device to remove such containers from the production line. The addition of new software has improved changeover time and accuracy and simplified setup and operation. Line operators only need to select the appropriate container type and the system automatically loads all operating parameters into memory. Industrial Dynamics Company Ltd., Torrance, CA.
NISTtraceable temperature and humidity indicators can be calibrated by users and store and recall 16 readings with the touch of a button. Model TH indicators feature a large digital display, ranges that can be switched from Fahrenheit to Celsius, and a data-holding function. Models TH300 and TH500 calculate dew point and include a Delta T function that calculates a change in temperature or humidity readings. The Dickson Co., Addison, IL.
A quality control device verifies all aspects of a printed bar code and presents the data in a clear and comprehensive manner. The ATI PC Verifier uses software that can be installed on a PC and plug options such as a wand or a charge-coupled device. Model PC-5005 links the software to a database that checks the scanned bar code against a description of the product. The system can read the following bar codes: EAN/UPC, Interleaved 2 of 5, Code 39, Code 39 full ASCII, Codabar, Code 128, and EAN 128. AmeriCode Technologies Inc., York, PA.
Flat-profile sensors are designed for use on conveyor lines and machines. Model SM600 sensors detect objects of all colors and materials as small as 1.6-mm rod diameter at a distance of 38 mm. They can handle transparent, opaque, liquid, and solid materials. The sensors can detect objects through small openings, as close as 12.7 mm, and moving back-to-back at speeds up to more than 2000 per minute. Uses include detection of box sides and container edges, cap presence and tilt, and fill levels. Hyde Park Electronics Inc., Dayton, OH.
Handheld thermometers accept both single and dual inputs and can be switched from Celsius to Fahrenheit with a resolution of 0.1°. The HH501A and B models feature a backlit LCD and a data-holding function; models HH502 through HH505 also have minimum, maximum, and average readings and audible beeper alarm capability. All models are resistant to dust and water. The thermometers are supplied with cases and a rugged, shock-resistant rubber boot. Omega Engineering Inc., Stamford, CT.
A general-purpose machine vision system is designed for packaging uses involving part sorting, assembly verification, and on-line gauging and measurement. The EZ Vision I2X is supplied with user-friendly software, current PC technology, frame grabber board, I/O board, lights, and camera. Cincinnati Industrial Automation Ltd., Covington, KY.
A high-speed video motion analysis system records up to 8000 images per second, using shutter speeds up to 1/40,000th of a second, with a resolution up to 480 x 420 x 8-bit pixels per frame. The MotionScope systems can monitor label application in high-speed bottling operations. Redlake Imaging, Morgan Hill, CA.
An image sensor has high-resolution imaging (640 x 480 pixel) capabilities combined with network communications (ethernet and field bus). The Series 600 SmartImage sensor delivers vital control data such as quality control inspection results, coordinate information for motion controllers, statistical process control data, and even 2-D code verification. With a footprint of 1.6 x 2.2 x 4 in., the Series 600 holds an embedded PC processor and uses the firm's image-acquisition technology to maintain optimum image stability and repeatability. It is supplied with the firm's newest software interface, FrameWork 1.4. DVT Corp., Norcross, GA.