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Vision Sensors Check Bottle Quality

Meridian Beverage Co aquacal beverage manufacturing inspection by cognex

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A single vision sensor achieves throughput of 375 bottles/minute

Hamilton/ITS was recently challenged to provide a reliable “Fill & Cap” verification system for a new bottling line on behalf of Meridian Beverage Company of Atlanta. Cognex vision sensors were selected for their reliability, high operating speed, and added features. Hamilton/ITS specified the need for a vision sensor with built in PLC which could accept encoder feedback, track bottles’ location, and properly trigger the kick-out station when needed. “The new line runs almost non-stop at 375 bottles a minute, so down time on our system wasn’t an option. The challenge is to kick out bottles that haven’t filled properly or have had the caps put on wrong,” said Ray Hamilton, Hamilton/ITS President.

Eliminating the need for photoelectric

Cognex vision sensors are a simple and affordable solution for verifying the presence of product and packaging features. Essentially a versatile “multi-sensor,” a single Cognex sensor detects features that would require multiple photoelectric sensors.

At Meridian Beverage Company, a single Cognex sensor identified 7 different bottle features and sampled 5-7 snapshots of each bottle. The numerous snapshots reduced false negative responses. A self-triggering feature eliminated the need for an external sensor circuitry; this significantly reduced the costs of acquisition, design, installation and maintenance. After final in-place tuning, the system tested 100% for cap placement and proper fill level. Bottles were fed shoulder-to-shoulder at rates of 375 bottles per minute.

Like its client, Hamilton/ITS is pleased with the results. Said President Ray Hamilton, “Our reputation as an automation integrator depends on quality solutions. We depend on Cognex.”

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