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Plastic parts

Improving Plastic Manufacturing Results with Machine Vision

The goal of automation has always been to produce high quality parts as quickly as possible. It’s unavoidable that some parts come out of lower quality, and the job of quality control is to ensure that those parts never make it into the end product or to the customer. Checking parts by hand requires a massive investment of both time and labor cost. Luckily, technology now makes it possible to inspect many plastic parts using machine vision.

Machine vision inspection can pick up on minute variations between parts that a human would not be able to see, and can reject defective pieces with astounding accuracy. Depending on the application, machine vision inspection can determine the presence or absence of safety seals, cap heights, colors, proper alignment of parts, correct labels, and much more. Almost anything that can be seen by a camera can be used as a metric in a machine vision system.

For continuous material systems producing, for example, surgical tubing or wire, machine vision can inspect them for defects at a rate of above 600 feet per minute.

When manufacturing bottles, machine vision can inspect the seals over 1000 bottles per minute, can inspect both oval and round bottles, can detect even small breaks and chips in the seal, can ensure that all bottles of the same type are packed together (color sorting), check that all labels are correct in both content (language) and location, and can evaluate any custom metric your manufacturing requires. Imaging does not need to take place on the visible spectrum: thermal cameras and UV imaging are also valuable tools for inspecting seals.

Machine vision is also of major utility in the automotive industry, where it can be used to detect breaks in mesh filters or perform dimensional analysis on plastic parts. With a 1.6 second cycle time, an ability to detect multiple types of defects, and a high rate of accuracy, machine vision is critical to making high quality automotive parts.

Machine vision systems save time and money in manufacturing. They remove a major source of human error, help prevent costly product recalls, and improve the overall quality of products. Machine vision systems also collect specific data on the types and numbers of defects found, which can give insight into problems in the overall manufacturing process. Machine vision inspection is a crucial part of a constantly improving manufacturing environment.

Contact us to learn more about machine vision in plastics manufacturing.