Applied Vision (Akron, OH), a provider of machine vision inspection systems for the container manufacturing industry, has engineered what it says is the first vision inspection system for identifying physical damage to plastic slip sheets used in the material handling of food and beverage containers.
The edges of a slip sheet can be split when a platen is moved under the sheet. These splits can prevent a sheet from being automatically fed into a palletizer, or can cause the palletizer to jam. The surface of a slip sheet can also be ripped, torn or creased during lift truck handling and/or truck and rail transportation. Using a damaged slip sheet can prove costly to a manufacturer. Not only can a jammed palletizer interrupt production, containers can tip over if they are stacked on an irregular surface. Furthermore, it is time consuming for workers to manually inspect sheets for damage.
Applied Vision partnered with Sardee Industries (Stockton, CA) to engineer a novel slip sheet inspection system. Pallets of returned sheets are placed on a Sardee handler that automatically feeds each sheet to an Applied Vision inspection station. Here, multiple high-resolution cameras capture simultaneous images to determine the integrity of the sheet. Bad sheets are removed while good sheets are restacked for problem-free palletizer loading.
By improving the speed and accuracy of slip sheet inspection, Applied Vision and Sardee have created an opportunity for food and beverage container manufacturers to avoid costly and troublesome shutdowns caused by a jammed or mis-fed palletizer. This automatic inspection capability also makes it possible for one or two machine operators to accomplish the same amount of work that--if performed manually--would require five or more persons in larger-scale operations.