Automated control and filling of crates
The customer needed a solution for automated contamination control of crates and their filling with a material. Before, this task was performed manually.
Empty crates entering the filling process can be contaminated by candy products previously stored in the crates. Improper control of the crates may lead to material mixing and contamination so the products would be categorized as NG (“not good”).
The crates can be filled with products of various shapes, sizes, and colors. In addition to this variation, the crates itself can have a bulging bottom or broken plastic ribs. All these variables called for a complex automation solution.
The deployed automation solution consists of a PhoXi 3D Scanner from Photoneo, PEKAT VISION software, control system Simatic S7-1500, pneumatic system Festo, automatic weighing system Mettler Toledo, and a vibrating platform for uniform material distribution.
The contamination control starts with the PhoXi 3D Scanner scanning each crate. The 3D scan is then used by PEKAT VISION machine learning algorithm to look for learned objects – candies. If the crate is contaminated, it is discarded.
The filled crates are manipulated by a robot equipped with a special effector, which can grab 4 crates simultaneously.
The partner decided on a machine vision solution from Photoneo for several reasons:
- It is easy to install, set up, and integrate with the PLC system
- The installation and configuration time is minimal
- User-friendly interface
- It works with the PEKAT VISION technology
- The PhoXi 3D Scanner is reliable and precise
- Great support during integration
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