Agr International has unveiled its Pilot Vision™ system, a vision-based inspection and quality management system for PET containers. The Pilot Vision system is the third component to Agr’s Process Pilot® Family of products, geared toward providing manufacturers with a total blowmolder management approach. Having previously introduced components that provide in-the-blowmlder material distribution measurement as well as automated blowmolder control, Agr has developed the Pilot Vision system as the final component to complete this comprehensive package.
The Pilot Vision system is designed to work in conjunction with today’s high speed reheat stretch blowmolding equipment to provide detection of random occurring defects during the production of PET bottles.
According to Robert Cowden, Agr’s Chief Operating Officer, “the increased use of non-virgin materials has contributed to growing incidences of contaminants, black specs and un-melted material that can randomly appear during the blowing process, compromising quality and usability. Since these occur on a random basis, 100% inspection is required. Our new Pilot Vision system was designed with this issue in mind . . . it gives bottle makers the assurance that bottles with these types of defects will not enter the production stream.….”
The Pilot Vision system is a modular vision-based inspection system that mounts inside the blowmolder. The compact design of cameras and lighting components make it compatible with a wide variety of blowmolder models and brands. Its operating speed of up to 100,000 bottles/hour is compatible with even the highest speed blowmolding systems available today.
The open architecture of this system allows for simultaneous management of up to 6 cameras in multiple locations. These are typically configured in four separate inspection stations; preform inspection in the oven area, bottle seal surface, bottle base and bottle sidewall inspection that permits complete sidewall inspection of bottles up to 16 inches tall.
Featuring the latest vision and inspection technology, the Pilot Vision system utilizes high-resolution Gig-e cameras and variable multi-spectrum LED illumination for maximum flexibility, reliable operation and, most importantly, clear and precise imaging. In addition, to accommodate the harsh environment inside the blowmolder, camera and imaging components are sealed to prevent damage from fluids and moisture. Active cooling is also available for high temperature operation.
The Pilot Vision system offers a number of tools to assist operators with setup and management of their processes including multiple adjustable ROI tools, digital image filtering, zone scaling and the ability to capture and hold a large set of images for evaluation or setup purposes. A high-resolution, touch screen user interface is the center for system operation and provides a host of information for the operator including data for monitoring line status and assessing production trends, detailed defect and reject information and production-run data summaries, with live and historical images.
The Pilot Vision system is available as a stand-alone system, or as part of Agr’s Process Pilot® automated blowmolder management system. When you combine the Pilot Vision system with Agr’s Pilot Profiler™ material distribution measurement system and the Process Pilot automated blowmolder controls, it offers manufacturers a means to produce defect-free bottles with stable and consistent production on a 24/7 basis.
The Pilot Vision system is another segment to Agr’s Process Pilot® family of products, designed to provide comprehensive material distribution monitoring, automated blowmolder management and now vision–based defect detection.
Photo: Agr International, Inc.