Tobacco Chew Pouch Quality Inspection
Identify defects on containers to maintain brand integrity and avoid returns
Graphical programming environment for deep learning-based industrial image analysis
Smokeless tobacco is available in many forms, including pre-portioned chew bags or pouches. Chew bags are typically 0.5 to 1 gram of white or brown high-quality moistened tobacco wrapped in a thin pouch. The chew pouches are packaged in branded tin or plastic containers to maintain freshness on retail store shelves. Customers do not want any loose tobacco escaping the pouches since swallowing can make them sick. Therefore, tobacco manufacturing process involves inspecting each tin to ensure the chew pouches are defect free to maintain brand integrity, ensure a positive customer experience, and avoid returns.
Many tobacco manufacturers are using assembly machines that were designed before automated vision inspections were introduced to the industry. Rather than replace these expensive machines, the equipment is being retrofitted to incorporate this new technology. Space in tobacco manufacturing machines is very tight, so smart cameras are an ideal solution since they do not require extra cabinet space or bulky equipment.
Cognex In-Sight 2800 series vision systems are compact smart cameras that can be mounted in the space-constrained tobacco manufacturing machines. Positioned above the tins, the In-Sight 2800 with powerful, integrated light provides the necessary illumination to distinguish the loose tobacco from the pouches. The SurfaceFlaw tool along with filter tools identify differences in brightness and contrast that indicate a perforation. This is especially useful for brown tobacco that is very similar in color to the pouch material. The In-Sight 2800 reliably inspects the containers and rejects defective chew bags before they reach consumers.