Alltrista inspects home canning lids with machine vision


Alltrista Consumer Products Co., Muncie, IN, manufactures two-piece home-canning closures under Ball, Kerr, Golden Harvest, Mason, and Bernardin brand names. A critical quality check is inspecting the plastisol seal on the lid that preserves the vacuum, which ensures safe home-canned foods.

Side-by-side Omron F160 vision systems inspect two lines of lids in the space of one of the former systems.

As an early machine-vision adopter, Alltrista was using late 1980’s/early 1990’s-era vision systems to inspect lid seals. By 2001, those systems were failing and could not be readily repaired. As production rates increased, the slower processing time of the old system became an issue.
According to Mike Dodson, Alltrista’s senior process engineer at the time, “The old system was heavy-duty, big and bulky, and produced a lot of heat.” It required a dedicated air conditioning unit for each controller. The air conditioning units frequently went bad and were expensive to maintain. The preliminary justification [for new vision systems] was eliminating air conditioning costs. In fact, the plant’s energy savings alone offset the total cost of new vision systems.”
Todd Lee, Alltrista’s manager of quality assurance/technical services at the time, helped select Omron’s F160 vision system as the replacement quality inspection tool for lid seals. “It’s a relatively inexpensive system, but it still provides what we need. A more costly, more complicated system would have been overkill. It’s a relatively simple system” to operate. Dodson added, “The F160 menus are simple to work with. We use the defects measurement tool, primarily. [The F160 is] set upon different regions of the lid. It’s flexible in set-up… and compact.”

In application, Alltrista uses the F160 to capture an image of the lid. That image gets sent to a PLC for comparison against defect limits that have been preprogrammed by Alltrista quality control and engineering. After the PLC determines if the lid is good or bad, that status result is stored and tracked until it reaches a rejection station, where a PLC signal activates a mechanism to remove the bad lid. The F160 system inspects lids being transported from the curing oven to the final packaging area at the rate of 160 lids per minute.

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Integrated mobility; Artificial intelligence; Predictive motion control; Sensors and control system inputs; Asset Management; Cybersecurity
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me