Packaging Weeding Out Defects and Impurities in the F&B Manufacturing and Packaging Industry

| Editor: Marion Henig

Machine vision systems can streamline traceability, while also facilitating regulatory compliance, cost control and quality management. In this article you can find out why investments in greater automation and the implementation of vision systems and ID readers in processing and packaging operations would be beneficial to Asia’s F&B manufacturing sector.

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Machine vision systems can be used for guaging, inspection, guidance and identification. (Picture: Cognex)
Machine vision systems can be used for guaging, inspection, guidance and identification. (Picture: Cognex)

In recent years, food safety, compliance, product recalls and brand reputation have forced many organisations in the food-and-beverage (F&B) industry to question their ability to provide enterprise-wide traceability. These manufacturers are reexamining the success of their traceability initiatives in a bid to ensure food safety across their entire supply chains—from the field to the fork.

F&B manufacturers have to move beyond paper-based systems and automate product traceability across the supply chain. Very soon, every manufacturer will have to have complete supplier, manufacturing and delivery data for every product at their fingertips and in real time. Incomplete, inaccurate or untimely data will no longer be acceptable.

Taking this into account, more Asian F&B companies have recently begun to examine various ways to improve the safety and quality of their products. One such measure that is gaining popularity in the industry is the implementation of machine vision systems.

What is machine vision?

Machine vision systems are used to detect defects and other problems in manufactured items, packages or assemblies. They do so using a combination of microprocessor technology and image analysis software to interpret images and generate information about them. Machine vision can be used in four ways:

  • Gauging – to measure an item or examine its critical dimensions
  • Inspection – to indicate if an item is good or bad, based on its physical characteristics
  • Guidance – to accurately locate or place items
  • Identification – to determine whether the right item is present by inspecting its physical characteristics, or reading characters or a marked code