Web and print inspection

webprint inspectionVarious materials are manufactured in continuous sheets: plastics, paper, tissue, cardboard, metals , non-wovens.

Foil, film, web are the terms used to identified the layer that gets formed and rolled at very high speeds. Between forming and rolling, best industry practice is to use machine vision to inspect the 100% of the surface to detect and identify defects. Only few years ago, this sounded impossible or very expensive; today it is an affordable tool for manufacturers to increase product quality and solve or prevent problems early in the production cycle, preventing non conforming products from reaching the customers.

Specifically to prints and labels, they can be made on many materials, on coated or laminated products, and the result can be matte or glossy.
Alkeria multiple cameras can be mounted in multi-camera system to inspect any combination of prints and surface types.

Typical defects detected by this inspection tool are missed spots, scratches, smears, pinholes, roll-marks and depending on the surface texture, defects are detected in various ways: on uniform webs, like paper or metal, the software will look for areas that differ from this uniform background. If the surface is textured, the software will need to be more sophisticated in order to characterize defects.

Web speed is a critical parameter in order to arrange the vision system, but you can find the right size for any process speed within Alkeria camera range. Besides, USB3 connection make it easier and less expensive to run the cables needed for transmission, compared to the ones required with a GigE interface.

Data can be elaborated in real time, providing the timely feedback required to make the corrective actions needed before the web becomes a finished product. These actions are numerous may vary depending on the outcome of the vision reading. All information relevant to the defect will be stored for further information.

When specific defects take place, the operator’s notification and intervention may be requested; otherwise an automated sequenced action can be executed, such as the elimination of a specific product or batch, or the intervention of a specific device aimed at removing the faulty material.

Medical Imaging

medical imagingHigh quality digital imaging has taken a primary role in medical diagnosing tools in the last decade.

To guarantee high, consistent quality for correct diagnosis and decision making, hospitals, clinics and doctors demand state of the art image capturing devices in more and more medical fields.

Given the consequences of such diagnosing and decision making, it is mandatory that critical components – such as cameras - match the highest rank of quality.

Some examples of medical imaging applications are:

  • 2D and 3D confocal microscopy (for interferometric, brightfield, darkfield, fluorescence, etc.) 
  • 3D Dental
  • Scanner ophtalmic instruments
  • cell Sorting, counting, tracking
  • vision blood testing systems
  • surgical vision
  • 3D imaging measurement systems

Alkeria is a leading supplier in high quality ophthalmic imaging solutions, for retina inspection. However the high-resolution/high-sensitivity cameras by Alkeria, offer the same high definition, reliable resolution that is also required to detect the tiniest detail on the skin, or any other tissue and cell types.Cells

Pick & Place Applications

pick and place 1When it comes to automated component placing on an X, Y characterized plan, high performance vision systems become fundamental. After illuminating the product, a vision-guided system picks every tiny component, locates its destination and via an automated action (ex. Robot) places it correctly in a totally repeatable way.

“Pick & Place” is a typical need of the semi-conductor industry, where in controlled atmosphere environments, robotized systems inspect and assemble the semi-conductor wafers by “vacuum picking” single components, while “looking” at the target destination via a high performance, real time vision system. All of this happens at very high speeds. These systems are quite articulated and have few criticalities, among which:

  • a state of the art vision software
  • an X,Y/rotating table
  • a diffuse illumination system
  • a high performance camera to capture images continuously.

Expert system integrators state that the most important aspect of the system's design is how interaction between machine vision system and the servo-motion control. Only a flawless synchronization in the pick and place process guarantees perfect quality and avoids damages to the components.

One of Alkeria top capabilities is developing high performing control systems coupling vision and movement, ensuring the best result for pick & place applications.pick and place 2

Pharma applications

pharma

Visual inspection

Nothing but the best quality standards are to be applied to pharmaceutical products: quality control becomes then a critical step in the production processes. During the last decade, automated visual inspection and product handling systems have been installed; compared to manual inspection visual control comes out way more accurate, effortless and up to 5 times faster (with a speed of up to 10.000 pharmaceutical containers per hour).
Containers can so get inspected for particles in the product, contamination, cracks or glass damage to the bottom, shoulder and cap area. Inspection parameters (rotation speed, light intensity, etc.) are saved for each product type so that they can be uploaded automatically at batch change.
Alkeria high performance line scan cameras can be a key success factor in these high speed vision systems.

Track and Trace Solutions

A major concern in the pharmaceutical industry is protecting people from a significant counterfeiting phenomenon. Fake medicines are a real threat to human health, beyond a reputational and economical damage for the same companies.
This is the reason why many countries – European Union among them - have implemented laws to ensure the full traceability from the manufacturer to the patient, to avoid and ban the distribution of fakes.
This translates practically in an increasing need for integrating coding and code verification technology, with the so-called “track & trace” solutions.
Code reading technologies are at the heart of track and trace applications: they have to be able to check printed codes and make sure they are readable. For these systems a combination of automation know-how, vision system integration and mechanical handling engineering is critical to provide turn-key solutions.
Alkeria is a camera and motion control system designer that has the right expertise to work along a mechanical machinery company in order to integrate vision systems with the best results.  

3D scan

Industrial grade 3D scanners are used to provide accurate scans with high resolution, at high speeds. The purpose of the scanned images ranges from surface examination to metrology - measuring parts, tools and dies, castings, prototypes, etc. - in order to meet customers’ contractual/warranty requirements.
Previously, laser technology was used to measure several points as measurement proxy. Today’s laboratory devices can instead capture objects’ full surface geometry and primitives, with high precision and several benefits:3d scan3dscanning

  • high accuracy of 3D measures
  • high-resolution od details of parts
  • fast data collection and real time response/action
  • complete dimensional analysis
  • comprehensive reporting
  • contactless measuring systems
  • image capture of moving targets

Commonly these measures are used by development engineers for analysis such as material properties (R- and N-values, FLC, Young's Modulus, etc.), component analysis (crash tests, vibration, durability simulation testing, etc...) and Finite Element Analysis. In order to support this features, interfacing with CAD systems is strongly required.
Alkeria’s state of the art performance and integration capabilities guarantee successful and proficient results.

Anything special?

More and more applications for high performance cameras arise every day.

Outside the most common areas, several industries make significant use of industrial automation and machine vision for different purposes.

  • automotive industry: inspection systems for metal sheets and small parts, component testing via 3D scanning, track and trace applications; robotics vision for testing and handling.
  • food & beverage: fast moving consumer goods such as baked product inspection, code scanning for random testing, microbial detection systems, 3D imaging for accurate volume measurements, printing inspection for packaging, fruit or grains counting, size sorting and ripeness inspection, container quality inspection and more.
  • defence, security & aerospace: track and trace of 1D or 2D code identifiers - alphanumerical or even braille - quality inspection of parts and more.
  • electronics & solar: high speed surface inspection of photovoltaic panels, pick and place vision systems for electronics assembly, accurate 3D inspection and more.
  • traffic, rail & transport: barcodes scanning for pallets, airport trays, high speed imaging for speed checks, high speed road inspection, black box for ships or airplanes, trains, trucks and cars and more.
  • sports, entertainment & broadcast: high speed image acquisition for calculating track and trajectories of moving items –balls, people – high speed imaging for slow motion analysis, use of infra red imaging to reveal information that conventional cameras could not obtain.

And what is your next application of machine vision going to be? Tell us about it, our specialty is supporting machine manufacturers and vision system experts with our expertise on high performance cameras, servo-motion controls, and the latest softwares. Tell us your target, we’ll find the way to get you there.

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