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Consumer Products

Toilet Paper Plastic Packaging Inspection

Detect defects in the transparent plastic wrapping of toilet paper packs

Vision system inspecting the transparent plastic wrapping of toilet paper packs for defects as they pass by on a conveyor system.

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Toilet paper rolls are typically packaged in transparent plastic wrap with a printed design. Each roll included must be symmetrical, the package must be sealed properly, and there cannot be any foreign objects or other inclusions. Since the packaging is transparent, any defect is readily visible to the consumer.

The toilet paper rolls are visible through the packaging during inspection, which presents a confusing and variable image. The shape of the rolls, particularly the new coreless varieties, can vary in each dimension while still falling within an acceptable range. The reflective packaging, often printed with a range of brand designs, makes images hard to read.

Packaging lines usually handle packs that feature different brands, different artwork, and varying numbers of rolls. Reprogramming traditional rule-based machine vision for each new variation can be prohibitively time consuming.

Failure to detect unacceptable packages on the line can require subsequent unpacking of pallets after a manual quality check, or rejection by the end retailer before putting the packs up for sale.

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Cognex AI-enabled technology provides a solution to such ambiguous situations, where the range of good and bad examples are wide and somewhat overlapping. The defect detection tool trains on a set of images of acceptable toilet paper packaging conformations, shapes, and arrangements. The tool then identifies any anomalies in the packaging while passing acceptable variations. Only good packages reach the end retailer, protecting brand value.

When packaging arrangement or printed branding changes, the defect detection tool retrains with a new image set and can be back in operation with minimal delay.

Benefits

  • Ensure packaging standards are met
  • Find defects on challenging plastic surfaces
  • Preserve consumer satisfaction

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