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When Jano Crema had an issue with rejects on his paper cup lid processing line, he needed a solution that would not only solve the issue, but add further value down the line. He found it with help from SICK.

Jano Crema had a problem. Over the past few years, some of his customers were being inadvertently short changed on their paper cup lids, which is a product that his company was manufacturing.

This is the last thing a business excellence manager wants to hear, but due to the nature of the production line, it was a problem that couldn’t be solved by just putting more eyes on the conveyor belts.

“The plastic lids for the cups are made in a very high-speed, highly automated line, meaning there is little opportunity to see a problem before it is packed, so we wanted to automate the quality check process,” says Crema.

Crema’s team identified that the sleeves were often being produced with issues or defects around the time there were other problems on the line – while operators were busy trying to sort out other issues to get the line back up and running.

Enter the TriSpector1000 3D camera from SICK.

Complaints down, efficiencies up

“Given the physical dimensions of what we were working with, in terms of space within the line and the dimensions of the product, I thought the TriSpector1000 was something that might be applicable,” says Crema.

“When we first set up the system, we enabled a bypass because we needed to program each of our products as they went through the process,” explained Crema.

“Through that fine-tuning process of the parameters, we were able to make sure that process was a lot more reliable. We now have it to the point where the operators no longer need to have that bypass.”

Kevin Zarczynski, sales engineer at SICK, believes one of the TriSpector1000’s biggest advantages for Crema’s company was that it could be retrofitted to any machinery.

“His machines were not designed for this type of camera, but it was easily mounted and took pictures of places he was unable to before,” Zarczynski says. “It also has a bunch of inspection tools in there that are preloaded to the camera for measuring volumes, distances and heights, and it has the ability to identify multiple things all in the one task.”

Automated fault finding

For Crema, being able to work with multiple dimensions all at once was the definite selling point. “I’m looking for further applications where I can use this type of technology for automated fault finding,” Crema said.

“The challenge in any FMCG operation is that we are chasing outputs, higher speeds and more efficiency. If you’re doing a traditional, hand-picked sampling process, you are going to hit your limits of efficiency pretty quickly.”

Overall, Crema is more than happy with the TriSpector1000 and its ability to solve a problem that could have been ongoing.

“I think that this type of technology has huge potential to allow much greater inspection of products in real-time or during manufacture. You can be sure that almost every piece you make is perfect,” Crema concluded.

This article has been published in the September-October print issue of PKN Packaging News, on page 68.

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