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Consumer Products

Detergent Pods Defect Inspection

Ensure packs of laundry detergent pods are properly shaped and defect-free

An In-Sight D900 inspect laundry detergent pods for defects and other unwanted blemishes on the production line

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Dishwasher and washing machine detergent are increasingly packaged in pods, often with distinctive branded designs with separate components. Each pod must be investigated for scratches, punctures, or other damage to the membrane or film that contains the concentrated liquid detergent. Each pod must also be checked for proper shape, size, and lack of deformity. The proper contents and layout must also be confirmed. If the septum separating two liquid components is damaged, mixing can occur.

Damage to a pod’s external membrane can lead to the release of potentially toxic or corrosive contents, either during shipping or after purchase. Deformed pods can fail to fit into the proper receptacle in the dishwasher or washing machine. And premature component mixing can compromise cleaning ability. All flaws, particularly in the carefully designed arrangement of colorful contents, can lead to branding damage.

Defects in the membrane can be subtle and difficult for conventional machine vision to detect against the complex contents. The wide variety of defects in size, shape, and arrangement of internal contents is impossible to program conventional machine vision to detect. Pods are often inspected in racks, in large numbers, increasing the difficulty of defect detection.

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Cognex Deep Learning is ideal for visually detecting flaws in small, packaged goods at high volumes and speeds. The defect detection tool trains on a small set of images of defect-free detergent pods. The defect detection tool then identifies any pod with anomalies, whether in the surrounding film, physical size and shape, or internal components.

If a new pod design enters production, the defect detection tool retrains on an image set of the new design and can be deployed quickly without major downtime.

Consumers receive detergent pods with undamaged seals and the proper arrangement and appearance of contents.

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