Food and Beverage

Food and Beverage

Product Orientation Inspection

Ensure prepacked bags are shipped right side up

Vision system inspecting the orientation of filled IV bags

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For proper use, and to prevent damage, many types of flexible liquid-filled containers or bags, such as filled IV bags, must be packed for shipment in the proper vertical orientation. Pick-and-place robots have the dexterity to put such containers in the proper place in secondary packaging but have a high error rate in deciding which is the top and which is the bottom.

Such packaging is used for juices, syrups, liquid detergent, oils, solvents, saline, medication, and other consumer, industrial, and healthcare products. Flexible bags are increasingly used because of their lower cost and wide range of applications. Putting containers in upside down increases the risk of leakage and damage, makes it more difficult to unpack and remove containers at the destination, and can affect brand value.

The containers can vary considerably in shape and size, and are usually transparent, causing reflections and refractions from the surface and within the liquid. Conventional machine vision has difficulty with these many variations and cannot reliably orient the bags correctly for shipping.

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Cognex Deep Learning solves the problem of orienting liquid-filled bags and other flexible containers for packing and shipping. It trains on image sets of various possible containers with their orientation marked. Then the classification tool accurately determines the orientation of each bag it sees and provides the data to the pick-and-place robot, which then picks up and places the container into secondary packaging in the correct orientation.

Liquid-filled bags and flexible containers are received by the end consumer with the bags oriented correctly, without damage or leakage.

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