Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Inspecting glass tableware

Here in the US we like to add the suffix “ware” to everything. This probably stems from the perception that software is cool, and it means we now have silverware (knives and forks,) flatware (plates) and stemware (wine glasses.) That last group is of course a subset of glassware, or what you and I might call “glasses” while all the above can be lumped under the heading of “tableware”. All this ware has to be manufactured some-where, (sorry, I couldn’t resist it,) and where (there I go again,) there’s manufacturing there’s also inspection.

Today I want to share details of an inspection system for glasses. This comes courtesy of Allied Vision Technologies, who supplied the cameras for the O2KS “Cold-end tableware” inspection system.

As is my habit, I’m not going to steal page clicks from AVT, so click the link above to learn more. In particular, note how the machine developer/builder, E3tam of Turkey, configured lighting and optics to image four 90o segments of the cylindrical surface. Also note that they went with what I consider relatively low-resolution cameras but made use of telecentric lenses. In short, some interesting design decisions.

Also interesting is that the software is LabVIEW-based. My love of LabVIEW is no secret, but it’s not often one sees it used in commercial inspection systems, and especially not one from Europe. In my experience Europeans tend to go with products like Halcon or CVB for their machine vision.

Regular readers might recall that I’ve posted about similar systems in the past. “US-built bottle inspection systems” will take you to the most recent of these, and they seem pretty similar. Did E3tam’s client consider buying a modified bottle inspector? I guess we’ll never know.

And in wrapping up, let me quickly share a link to the builder: http://e3tam.com will let you learn more about them and their capabilities.

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