Product location and presence identification
By changing over from manual to automatic packaging operations, the Unilever plant in Ansbach, Germany, has been able to increase throughput and achieve quick-change versatility on their sausage production line. Cognex VisionPro® vision software guides an ABB robot used to pick sausage off of the conveyor belt for packaging. Since the implementation, Unilever has been able to nearly double how many production cycles they complete per minute and change over from one size sausage to another in three minutes. There are two vision systems operating in the system. The first determines the precise location of sausages for the robotic picker on the infeed of the conveyor belt. The second, further on in the process, ensures that there are no packages without a product before they are sealed. Cognex vision has made the system timelier in picking the appropriate sausage for packaging, and saved waste by preventing the sealing of empty packages.