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Quality Inspection of Wine Bottles using Machine Vision

Supplier: Industrial Photonics
29 May, 2008

Customers of the glass container industry demand a very high quality product. The best quality glass available is not only very important to protect its product but it also gives shape and identity to some of the world's leading brands. As such the packaging must live up to the high standards consumers come to expect from their trusted brands.

100% quality control is of paramount importance in the glass manufacturing business, any dimensional variations can influence the performance of the bottle at both the filling and sealing stage. Machine Vision helps significantly to achieve that goal by performing highly accurate dimensional measurements with very consistent results.

The Q:Profile Bottle Dimensions is an effective machine vision solution to check the finishing of glass containers. At intervals, a sample of the containers being produced is taken aside for a wide range of quality checks including dimensional checks. In the past, the glass finish was measured manually by an operator by hand.

For difficult shapes the sample measurement could take up to ten minutes per bottle. As glass manufacturers strive for very high quality standards, there are at least eleven different checks to be done on every single bottle. This sophisticated process requires very high precision down to an accuracy of +/- 0.1 mm. It is quite hard to train operators for this type of measurement as the types of bottles change constantly and each one has a differing set of parameters.

With the Q:Profile Bottle Dimensions system this time consuming and exhausting operation finally became obsolete as the applied smart camera automates the measurement process. It decreases the inspection time dramatically down from 10 minutes per bottle to approximately 5 to 10 seconds per bottle, depending on the inspection captures per bottle, while retaining the same high accuracy. This accelerates the process up to a hundred times faster.

The speed of this inspection also allows multiple measurements of the finishing. The inspection system not only saves a lot of time, it is consistent in its performance and highly accurate but is also very cost effective.

The inspection system is a complete turn-key solution which includes a turntable to take up to 50 shots per bottle. The smart camera is self teaching and remembers different bottles types and parameters. Operators can adjust the level of tolerance to overcome variances in the production process. The IP67 rated user interface, the Camconsole, is able to show the captured image of the finishing and alerts the operator to changes that are out of tolerance. The operator can choose between different pre-settings and programs to inspect the current bottle type. The Q:Profile also includes a database solution and a web server which allows the customers to have easy access to finished results and archived data.