Olmec vision system reduces product recalls

On a cartoning machine with two separate leaflet feeders

Checking leaflets are in the pouch in the carton

A leading manufacturer of over-the-counter healthcare products has commissioned a five-camera inspection system on a cartoning machine with two separate leaflet feeders to ensure that cartons not only contain a patient information leaflet but that it is also the correct one.

The vision system, designed and installed by Olmec UK, based in Barton-upon-Humber, North Lincolnshire, also provides the option to ensure that the correct bottle has been inserted into the carton. Linked into an existing reject mechanism, this substantially reduces the chances of costly product recalls due to packaging errors.

The vision system has been installed on a cartoning machine that cycles up to 70 times a minute; it is also used for two different product lines.

Individual area scan cameras read the carton pharma code and check that the leaflet is in the carton as well as reading the leaflet pharma codes on two separate leaflet feeders. For one product the leaflet is inserted into the carton and the product bottle pushed down on top of it; for the other, the leaflet is inserted into a dedicated pouch inside the carton, next to the bottle.

On receipt of a trigger command, each of the five networked cameras sends data back to the line PLC which is responsible for all of the critical data flow, error handling and interfacing with the existing cartoning machine. The cameras send a combination of two leaflet and one pharma-code verification strings and Pass/Fail result for the leaflet in carton checks. The PLC compares the data being read at each inspection point stored data and confirms that it is as expected.