Have you ever bought a package of candy? The answer is probably “Of course! Everybody likes candy!” But have you ever counted the number of candies inside the package to see how many are in there? Probably not, especially if there are a lot. Besides, someone else is supposed to do that for you.
Object counting is a common issue in the packaging industry. The right amount of candies must be included in the package; the right number of chocolates must be on the tray, as well as the right number of bottles must be present in the carton box. In addition, counting is needed not only in the packaging industry, but also in many different manufacturing sectors such as automotive (count the number of balls inside a ball-bearing), pharmaceutical (count the number of pills) or healthcare (count the number of vials in a rack).
Datalogic Automation SVS2 vision sensor represents a technical solution for this kind of application. The device integrates all the elements needed for quality control, in a compact housing. The camera acquires an image, which is subsequently evaluated by using algorithms. Different approaches can be used according to the characteristics of the items that must be detected.
Leaf Italia, a candy manufacturer, uses the SVS2 brightness tool to check the presence of each piece during packaging. The choice to use SVS2 was made using the following criteria: when candy is present, the opening is full and appears quite bright. When candy is missing, the opening is empty and appears darker. The algorithm evaluates the average light intensity inside the Regions of Interest (ROIs). According to the minimum and maximum acceptance thresholds set by the user, each tool returns a positive or a negative result. Thanks to the logic operators available on SVS2, it is also possible to combine all the data coming from each single control. Eventually, the vision sensor activates one digital output with no need for an external PLC.
SVS2 was also chosen thanks to its flexibility and ease-of-use. The vision sensor does not require specific positioning (it works properly as long as all the items are within its field of view). Additionally, it allows users to manage different applications via software with no need to change its mechanical positioning. This provides a big advantage compared to the photoelectric sensor approach that requires a specific setup for each application. Furthermore, different configurations are stored in the embedded memory and can be selected automatically through a digital pulse protocol. Thus, the operator can change inspections quickly and easily without stopping production.
All these characteristics make SVS2 a flexible and powerful product able to solve multiple manufacturing needs with a single device.
Datalogic Automation sensor products are supported in the U.S. by IDEC Corp.