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Intravis vision systems with cameras, lenses and illumination areas as a turnkey solution from Beck Automation for IML inspection.
Intravis vision systems with cameras, lenses and illumination areas as a turnkey solution from Beck Automation for IML inspection.

In cooperation with Intravis, Beck Automation is introducing a turnkey vision system that combines optical inspection solution with In-mold Labeling (IML) technology.

From now on, Beck Automation offers the option of its high performance IML systems as turnkey solutions with fully integrated vision systems from Intravis. The vision system is fully integrated into the IML plant before delivery.

Beck Automation is fully in charge of system integration and responsibility for the vision system, but customers can also enjoy Intravis' global service network after commissioning.

Nino Zehnder, Head of Sales, Beck Automation, said, "True to Intravis' motto of solving problems before they emerge, we have found a partner for a turnkey solution who is an expert in quality inspection of plastic packaging and who understands, lives and breathes IML technology just like we do."

This close collaboration leads to new, innovative ideas. For example, the development of a system where the distance between the test object (plastic bucket with IML decoration) and the camera lens can be freely adjusted by means of servo.

Such solution makes it possible to compensate for differences in the size of test objects without direct mechanical adjustment on-camera, leading to significantly faster changeover times, explained the company.

At the heart of the vision system from Intravis is the IMLWatcher, specifically developed for quality inspection of the IML process. It can check a wide range of objects such as lids, tubs, trays and buckets and all common types of labels including bands and bottom labels.

Possible inspection criteria of the IMLWatcher are:
- Label presence
- Label identity
- Label position (vertical, horizontal, as well as warp or skew)
- Blow-by
- Pin marks
- Wrinkle and blister formation
- Contamination
- Printing defects on the labels
- Misalignment of the printed image
- Label edge defects

Test accuracy of the vision system is 0.1mm (for 50x50mm label size). The maximum test speed allows image intervals as short as 20 milliseconds.

Thanks to the flexible programming of algorithms, IMLWatcher can be deployed for almost every test task, every relevant criterion and fine-tuned to the dynamics as well as the objects to be inspected, according to Beck Automation.

Zehnder said, "This flexibility is of crucial importance for the operator, both when starting production and for product changeover on an IML system. It simply means: a higher level of quality and improved added value."

The capital expenditure for inspection systems has been steadily declining over the years and is now at an affordable level. Depending on the application, the investment for an integrated vision system, Beck Automation noted, is 10-20% of the purchase price of IML plant.

"The installation of a camera for quality inspection, is no longer enough. Today's customer requirements are so individual that the vision system must play a central role even in the concept phase of machine development. From a business point of view, these optical systems are an integral part of the modern IML production process. However, in the project planning phase, only test criteria which make sense and have been adapted to the production task in hand should be defined in order to achieve cost-effective deployment," said Zehnder.

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