Flexible solution for serial inspection task


OMRON has helped a machine-building customer to create a solution that adds serialisation capabilities to its printed code inspection system.

The inspection tool is part of a friction feeder on an e-cigarette packaging line. The addition of this serialisation capability allows for the printing and verification of a unique code onto each package.

The Increasingly stringent regulations require that packaging – particularly in the food and pharmaceutical sectors – carry unique coding which can be used for tracking and tracing of individual products throughout the supply chain. These codes need to be accurately and precisely printed and positioned on the packaging material without compromising either production speed or print quality.

Omron’s customer, Kraus Maschinenbau, is a designer and manufacturer of friction feeders and specialised systems for the printing and packaging industry.

Joachim Kraus, managing director of Kraus Machinenbau, said, “We needed help to develop an optical inspection system that was able to verify GS1 barcodes. It needed to be simple to adjust without additional tools. It also needed to be easy to use, modular, scalable and to deliver reliable and repeatable results.”

The solution provided includes an Omron FH Vision System, matched with an Omron HMI, which provided the flexibility needed to meet the inspection and visualisation requirements of this application. The Vision System is designed for use in high-speed applications.

The challenge presented by the project was that every printed code was unique, so the system needed to individually print and then verify each package. This required interaction between the database, the PLC and the vision system. “Data relating to the codes needed to be quickly shared between the database and the inspection system, via a PLC,” said Gunnar Bischoff, Industry Marketing Manager for Omron Europe. “The camera takes a picture of the printed code on the package and compares it with what should be on the pack.

“A signal is then sent back to the PLC to confirm whether the code is correct or not.”