FEATURE Machine Vision

Novio Packaging reaches new levels of quality with machine vision


he Novio Packaging Group produces and distributes primary packaging and packaging solutions for

various market from pharmaceuticals and cosmetics through to the food and non-food industries, since 1978. The group is part of Berlin Packaging, the world’s largest packaging distributor. The company has a broad network of operations throughout Europe and Asia, with factories in Denmark and England.

Accuracy and flexibility

The Danish factory needed a sophisticated and fl exible quality-inspection system to cope with changes in the types of bottles being produced. It explored various systems, some of which were not so accurate and without the functionality for adjustment to the software. The company subsequently started looking for a system that would eliminate defects down to one bottle out of 100,000. Novio then turned to Omron, which off ers its Omron’s FH vision system that also incorporates lights and cameras set at diff erent angles to detect defects, such as scratches or dust, that could aff ect the quality of a bottle. “We use the FH vision system with four cameras to check the bottles we produce from all sides, to ensure that there isn’t any dirt and there are no black spots, etc. The cameras carry out the checks on running conveyors, so we don’t need to stop the bottles for inspection,” said Peter Lykke, Novio Packaging’s Technical Manager. “In addition, we use two cameras on top of the line to check

34 June 2021 | Automation

the dimensions of the caps, and to ensure there is no residual plastic or anything missing from them that might cause a problem; say, making them too tight. Our customers use air conveyor systems, so the diameter of the bottleneck has to be very precise. It’s diffi cult to check this accurately with any method other than a quality inspection system with a vision camera.”

Any bottle identifi ed as having defects is automatically discarded. This is important, as if one bottle proves to be sub-standard, the customer could send the whole shipment back, which would be very costly to Novio. The fi nished bottles go mainly to a leading juice company, so it’s vital that they don’t have any defects or items that could contaminate the juice or aff ect the appearance of the bottle.

More benefits

The system needed to provide new changeover possibilities for Novio, as the company produces diff erent types of bottles at diff erent times. If the system is not fl exible enough, the fi rm would have to resort to expensive mechanical changes to ensure that good images could be obtained of each bottle. The solution provided by Omron enables Novio to cope with rapid changeovers, and has also enabled it to meet customer demands for a wider packaging portfolio, involving smaller but more variable batches, which helps avoid any delays in the development of new products. The Omron vision system is very

precise, scaelable and adaptable, and can easily cope with changes in the production of diff erent types of bottles. It also has a single software program that Novio was able to manage, integrate and modify via the FH software, which is very easy to use. “One benefi t is that after I’ve carried out the basic programming and set up the cameras, our technical staff can easily adjust the program for new types of bottles themselves,” said Lykke.

This has saved Novio time and money, as the company doesn’t need to call in a specialist or a systems integrator to handle any changes. Novio Packaging leases the vision system for a monthly fee. “Omron has always been very helpful,” added Lykke. “I always get good answers to any questions on software changes, a range of new ideas, and advice on issues such as using the right lighting to gain the best inspection results.”

“Quality is very important, as we

provide bottles for juice and any blemish could be seen as dirt by the consumer. I believe that it’s essential to have an automated system to provide this level of quality, as it’s not possible for a human to inspect the bottle from all sides. Furthermore, if they looked away for just a second, a mistake could easily be made. We are therefore delighted with the fl exibility and accuracy of the new system,” concluded Lykke.



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