Monday, June 23, 2014

End of Line packaging inspection & collation system for China!

Olmec has designed and integrated a sophisticated high-speed End of Line (EOL) vision inspection and collation system for products sealed in paper-based pouches prior to human transfer into cartons. With the production line located in China, the calibration, validation and documentation for the system are of critical importance and the provision of remote VPN access allows effective local support to be provided. A full Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) was carried out as part of the design process. 

The paper pouches are transferred from the conversion process into the EOL system. Here the Olmec system handles the entire passage of the product from triggering the camera for inspection to initiating the reject mechanism if required, through to the custom-designed shingled collation system. With product arriving at a rate of 330/minute, the collation machine has been designed to issue 25 pouches per shingled batch to the human packers who transfer the pouches to cartons. Cartons are each packed with 100 pouches, and the system delivers 13 shingled batches of 25 pouches each minute.

The vision inspection system utilises Olmec’s well-established infrared line scan imaging configuration which allows the product to be imaged through the paper pouch. The system checks the outer packaging and product dimensions as well as checking for defects such as product trapped in the pouch seals, dirt, debris and dust, with 80 µm resolution.


The high sample throughput means a low takt time. Every aspect of the system design takes that into consideration, from the very precise triggering of the camera frame to ensure that the entire product is within the field of view, to human factors and ergonomic design of the system, including positioning of emergency stops, shelving, displays etc. The FMEA ensures that there is no possibility of defective product getting through the system, since in the event of any actions needing to be taken on the collator, no access is allowed until it has been completely purged.

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