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A vision for low-cost inspection (sidebar)

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Mounted atop the cartoner infeed the inserter assembly has its own photocell sensor for no- literature/no-carton alarming but Access wanted a sensor as close as possible to actual insertion into the carton to ensure the literature really does go into the carton. By aiming the Omron F30 vision sensor at a narrow gap between the product flight and the funnel leading into the carton Access is just inches shy of having the sensor right in the carton.

First the inserter places prefolded product literature from a supply magazine into a conveyor flight. This is done at the cartoner’s continuous-motion pace of 75 to 80 cartons/min. A side conveyor brings in the skin care product in tubes or jars that are transferred into each flight atop the literature.

Into the side pocket

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Access saw that this setup wouldn’t work because a sensor read on the literature could not be made with the product covering it.

In a development breakthrough Access senior set-up engineer Rob Skrobot designed a thin metal bar along the side of each of the 58 flights into which the literature could be inserted. The literature is placed on-edge in this narrow “side pocket” within each flight. Access also redesigned the plastic “block” into a hollowed arch that pushes the product and literature together into the carton. The wider leg of the arch pushes the product into the carton as the other narrower leg slides through the literature-containing side pocket to push the literature into the carton. The flight-to-flight transfer of product and literature into the carton is made via a stationary funnel.

The F30 is aimed at the ¼’’ gap between the flight and the funnel. This view is seen on a 9’’ black-and-white monitor mounted atop the cartoner. A small hand controller also from Omron wired through the cartoner’s control panel uses a simple five-button operation for all set-up functions. These include setting the window size sensitivity level and other parameters.

The sensing head’s onboard light source is a ring array of LEDs that surrounds the camera lens.

If the sensor doesn’t get a read that carton is pneumatically rejected.

See the main story that goes with this sidebar: A vision for low-cost inspection

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