Novio Packaging reaches new levels of quality with machine vision
Novio Packaging has selected an Omron FH series Vision System for use in its bottle production line in Denmark. The Omron system ensures that all of the bottles shipped to customers are of the highest quality, with no defects.
Since 1978, Novio Packaging Group has produced and distributed primary packaging and packaging solutions for various markets, from pharmaceuticals and cosmetics to the food and domestic non-food industry. The group is part of Berlin Packaging, the world’s largest packaging distributor.
Novio Packaging has a broad network of operations throughout Europe and Asia, with factories in Denmark and England. These have been set up to ensure that the company’s customers receive bottles with a guaranteed high standard.
A need for accuracy and flexibility
The Danish factory required a sophisticated and flexible quality inspection system to cope with changes in the types of bottles being produced and achieve the right levels of quality. The management team explored systems proved to be ineffective due to insufficient accuracy. In addition, users couldn’t make adjustments or programme the software themselves. The company subsequently started looking for a system that would eliminate defects down to one bottle out of 100,000.
As a result of its investigations, Novio opted for a versatile solution from Omron. This included Omron’s FH vision system as well as its FQ2 cameras. The system is used on the production line, and incorporates lights and cameras set at varying angles in order to detect any defects that would affect the quality of a bottle such as scratches or dust.
Peter Lykke, Novio Packaging’s Technical Manager, explains: “We use the FH vision system with four cameras to check the bottles we produce from all sides, to ensure that there isn’t any dirt and there are no black spots etc. on the bottles. The cameras carry out the checks on running conveyors, so we don’t need to stop the bottles for inspection.
“In addition, we use two cameras on top of the line to check issues such as the dimensions of the caps, and to ensure that there is no residual plastic or anything missing from the caps that might cause a problem (such as making them too tight). Our customers use air conveyor systems and the diameter of the bottleneck has to be very precise. It’s very difficult to check this accurately with any method other than a quality inspection system with a vision camera.”
Any bottle identified as having defects is automatically discarded. This feature is integral, since the customer could send the entire shipment back due to one substandard bottle, incurring significant bottom line costs to Novio. A significant share of the finished bottles go to a leading juice company, so it’s vital to ensure there are no defects or items that could contaminate the juice or affect the appearance of the bottle.
Further benefits of the Omron system
As Novio produces different types of bottles at different times, another important requirement of the system was to provide new changeover possibilities. If the system wasn’t flexible enough, the firm would have to resort to expensive mechanical changes to ensure adequate images could be obtained of each bottle.
The solution provided by Omron enables Novio to cope with rapid changeovers while meeting customer demands for a wider packaging portfolio, involving smaller but more variable batches. This also helps to avoid any delays in the development of new products.
The Omron vision system is precise, scalable and adaptable, and can easily cope with changes in the production of various bottle types. In addition, a single software programme allows Novio to apply, integrate and modify via the easy-to-use FH software.
Peter Lykke comments: “One benefit is that after I’ve carried out the basic programming and set up the cameras, our technical staff can easily adjust the programme for new types of bottles themselves.” There’s no need to call in a specialist or a systems integrator to handle any changes, saving the company time and money. Novio Packaging leases the vision system for a monthly fee.
“Omron has always been very helpful,” concludes Peter Lykke. “I always get good answers to any questions on software changes, a range of new ideas and advice on issues such as using the right lighting to gain the best inspection results.”
He continues: “Quality is very important, as we provide bottles for juice and any blemish could be seen as dirt by the consumer. I believe that it’s essential to have an automated system to provide this level of quality, as it’s not possible for a human to inspect the bottle from all sides. Furthermore, if they looked away for just a second, a mistake could easily be made. We are therefore delighted with the flexibility and accuracy of the new system.”
accuracy of the new system.”