Cameras for Packaging Machinery

Example: automatic optical inspection with strongly reflective materials

Kappa industrial cameras are in use in a multitude of industrial image processing systems. Kappa is the integrator’s and plant builder’s ideal partner -  our super precisely characterized and parametrized cameras are perfectly designed for machine integration. It pays to bring us in during early project stages, especially with complex tasks as your camera partner who can efficiently implement application-specific module modifications. Here, we offer an example from the packaging industry in which the the film wrap’s strong reflectivity created particular challenges for the camera and illumination concepts.

 

Semi- and fully automatic packaging systems integrate checkweighers, labeling systems, printing units, and much more. Every step in the process is combined at high speed to produce high output. During startup, device replacement or repair, only short down times are tolerated. Automatic optical inspection systems accompany the manufacturing process. Different parameters are checked directly in the packaging machines.

Alongside technical qualifications such as image quality, light sensitivity and GigE Vision data protocols, the Rugged qualities first and foremost make Kappa repairable in plug & play mode. The camera solution is a component of the value-added chain, and with long-term availability, it accompanies the machines throughout their entire life cycles.

Camera solution for automatic inspection with strongly reflective materials

Increased demands on optical inspection occur, for example, when packaging material is glossy and laminated, thus strongly reflective. For such specific cases, Kappa has developed a lighting concept to prevent inhomogeneities in recording due to overexposure.

Integrated LEDs with diffuser create a perfect captured scene with homogenous illumination. Furthermore, the camera system is equipped with a polarization unit. Lighting is triggered in sync with the machine cycle. For system setup and calibration, we offer a separate video stream.

For the target/actual imaging processes, data conforming to GigE Vision protocol are available as an XML file. The camera module has been modifi ed from one of our tried-and-true Kappa portfolio components to meet this specific need. The result is a high-performance industrial camera with GigE Vision, e.g. 50 fps and 782×582 pixel resolution, with the addition of intelligent adaptation to the task at hand.

A couple of remarks on the topic of adaptation:
The system’s design is dictated largely by the limited space within the machine. The system consists of two components: the remote camera head with integrated lighting, and the separate control unit. The rough industrial environment, with ongoing vibrations, requires particular precautionary measures in the component selection, construction, and processing. Great attention was also paid to the optimization of production. The housing is realized with rectangular tubes. For the adhesion of the protective glass, a very long-lasting UV adhesive is used that can also be processed very quickly. For the protective glass itself, a nearly reflection-free special glass with 99% transmission was selected that is affordable and offers constant quality even with very high piece counts. The camera head with integrated lighting is exactly pre-configured to factory settings. Electrical, optical and mechanical parameters require no readjustment on the machine. Device exchange can take place without complication in plug & play mode without straining the machine’s down times.

 

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Carsten Geigengack

Carsten Geigengack

Tel.: +49.5508.974.127

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Maurice Knapp

Kappa USA

Tel.: +1.626.256.4343

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