Vision solutions are now an essential part of the Industry 4.0 toolkit in modern production facilities for the automation of processes, quality assurance and tolerance checks. The right vision system, properly integrated, can significantly improve the reliability of inspections and prevent downtime and waste.
But what happens when you need a vision system setting up in a hurry? Emergency vision solutions to fix urgent issues do exist – but how fast can it really be done?
Well, we’ve done it before in as little as 48 hours.
There are three broad steps to the process – and in your rush to find a solution, they mustn’t be skipped:
Step 1: Moving fast when manufacturing issues arise
Consider this example: a well-known FMCG brand was facing inspection issues ahead of a large product launch. It was starting a production run for a new aerosol product but soon faced problems with manufacturing tolerances during cap assembly.
The stock, produced on another site, was not meeting the agreed tolerances. This was causing issues when placing caps onto the aerosol cans, causing the valve to jam and lift the button on the cap, which didn’t meet aesthetic standards. As the lids were opaque, it was hard to see which caps were faulty without manually taking every lid off.
Under the pressure of a launch deadline, the site had workers taking lids off to check if they were sitting correctly on the valve which was causing a lot of the aerosols to accidentally vent contents. Stopping manufacturing on the day of the launch was not possible but 80% of the stock was quickly becoming waste.
Something had to be done. And fast.
Step 2: Finding (the right) rapid vision solution
After the integrators were called, our engineers quickly took a sample of the aerosol away to analyse the tolerance issue on the cap.
It was discovered that an Infrared backlight could be used to see through the opaque cap to see if the button had been lifted or not without having to risk expressing any contents.
Engineers quickly designed a vision solution using an Infrared backlight. This meant that products that needed attention could be quickly diverted from the main packaging conveyor line without manual intervention.
By using products already in stock, the solution could be built, installed and integrated in two days which allowed the launch to go ahead as planned with wastage reduced to a fraction of previous levels.
Step 3: Integrating intelligent vision solutions
By getting to understand the issue, the customer and the production environment of the facility, the team was able to integrate an effective solution in such a short space of time.
Meanwhile, the customer was able to begin reviewing the data and working on long-term improvements to the new system, all the while guided by the support team.