Develop an optimal solution to solve the problem of manual positioning of nutritional labels on irregularly shaped bottles.
In order to ensure the accuracy and proper positioning of each label on the bottles, the company has always had to rely on human intervention since its product range includes a variety of molded bottles with irregular shapes. Employees had to manually place the nutrition labels on the back of the bottles, which undoubtedly results in handling delays.
Rotalec was therefore mandated to create a machine vision solution aimed at designing a precise, efficient positioning sensor adaptable to various bottle shapes in order to automate the process, optimize the speed of execution and allow employees to perform added-value tasks.
Challenges and Issues
- Automate the task | The action to be taken requires several employees to that task, while they could perform other more complex, added-value tasks.
- Reduce costs related to this task | The number of workers and the handling time required implies significant costs considering there are automated positioning solutions.
- Reduce label positioning time | Manual positioning of nutrition labels on bottles by workers is time consuming.
The optimal solution is a machine vision and positioning system to ensure the labels are affixed automatically and placed correctly.
More specifically, a machine vision system has been designed to guarantee the precise orientation of the bottles in front of the automated labeling machine during the manufacturing process.
- Machine vision system | Using a Banner Engineering iVu camera, the orientation of the front of the bottle can be accurately determined. The machine vision system then communicates with the positioning system/intelligent drive to ensure the label is placed on the back of each bottle.
- Motion control system/Intelligent drive | In the early 2000s, depending on the available technology, the motion control system relied on a Trio Motion controller to drive a servomotor communicating with the machine vision system. Depending on the data obtained by the vision system, a belt would speed up or slow down in order to turn the bottles into the right position, while moving along the conveyor towards the labeller. Nowadays, a controller with an intelligent drive is recommended to ensure greater accuracy.
The company now benefits from a machine vision and positioning system solution to ensure the labels are affixed automatically and placed correctly on molded bottles with irregular shapes, within its automated assembly process.
The proven solution was greatly appreciated by the company, which was able to optimize its resources and reduce its production time.
Key benefits of this customized engineered solution
- Increased speed of labelling bottles.
- Increased process efficiency.
- Enabled operators to take on other more complex and added-value tasks.
- Ensured consistency and accuracy.