Packaging & Food
In the packaging and pharmaceutical industries, strict quality guidelines such as 100 percent controls must be observed. This relates not only to the product itself (fill level, completeness etc.), but also to the packaging of a product, which provides lots of information such as the batch number, use-by date etc. By reading the various codes on the packaging, industrial cameras assist with the comprehensive documentation of the batches.
Food and drink products can be extremely diverse, but even the products of the same category can vary tremendously. As a result, the challenges are great, as the eye is also part of the eating process, and colour, shape and appearance must all add up. In addition, everything that doesn't belong in food products, such as foreign bodies or packaging, must be safely detected, removed or checked for intactness and completeness. Care must also be taken to meet the special hygiene-related demands of the food industry and suitable casings for the industrial cameras must correspondingly be provided.
Industrial cameras have been used by milking robots for a long time. However, the industrial cameras are able to accomplish more. For example, by combining two cameras, spatial vision is achieved, which can help determine routes between rows of plants, therefore replacing route direction via GPS. Furthermore, industrial cameras can document and monitor plant growth or populations. The requirements of an industrial camera in the field of agriculture are evident: First of all, an industrial camera, like all outdoor applications, must be able to withstand adverse conditions, and secondly, as it relates to lots of applications related to food products, it must have a high colour fidelity.
Example applications in the packaging, food, and beverage industry
Checking packaging contents
Checking package inserts
Testing seals and bottle tops
Filling level control
Reverse vending machines
Degree of ripeness testing
Trimming food items
Monitoring of plant growth
Detecting weeds or pests to enable targeted control