Technologies inside: Vision integration speeds production, cuts waste for plastics manufacturer

Teledyne Dalsa’s Geva vision system, Genie camera, and Sherlock machine vision software improve quality control.


Ideal in a manufacturing environment, Teledyne Dalsa’s GEVA vision system easily captures images of both light and dark products for efficient quality control. Courtesy: Teledyne DalsaPennsylvania-based Teledyne Dalsa-distributor Intek Systems used Teledyne Dalsa’s Geva vision system, Genie camera, and Sherlock machine vision software improve quality control for a U.S.-based plastics manufacturer. Focused on delivering cost-effective machine control and automation solutions, Intek Systems works with manufacturers, OEMs, and integrators across Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, southern New Jersey, and parts of West Virginia who want to automate and streamline manufacturing processes and lower total cost of ownership.

“Intek was founded in 1989 to be an automation resource for customers. We initially offered servo and motion control solutions while many of our competitors were still focused on air valves and air cylinders,” said John Bridgen, senior applications engineer at Intek Systems. “We’ve since added vision capabilities, safety solutions, and pneumatics to enable our manufacturing customers to invest in a single unified system.” Bridge said Intek supplies “automation components, from manufacturers that specialize in specific fields—vision, for example—to provide a seamlessly integrated solution, using open architecture components to address each specific customer problem.”

Bridgen noted that for customers who work with a system integrator or automation resource like Intek, seeing a comprehensive proposal for a complete automation solution can be eye-opening; with traditional vendors, customers must consider disparate components and sometimes can’t envision the level of automation they can achieve or the benefits they can realize. Working with a complete automation resource provides that view.

“In addition, we can offer solutions and services at a price that is far less than a customer would have paid elsewhere,” Bridgen said. Intek has experience in programming and product support to “stand behind any solution we deliver. After working with a customer on a complex project, we find they often feel we are an extension of their automation team.  That’s how we know we have succeeded; we love the challenge of questioning the norms and exceeding expectations with our solutions.”

Teledyne Dalsa’s Genie camera instantly captures and transfers images to the operator, who can immediately reject the defective product, dramatically reducing waste. Courtesy: Teledyne DalsaFor this project, specifications and samples were sent to Teledyne Dalsa, where they were quickly imaged. “When we provided the images to our customer, who had spent so much time pursuing inferior solutions, they could see instantly how using the right tools would provide the most effective solution to their challenges. Importantly for Intek, the response from Teledyne Dalsa was so quick and seamless that it appeared to come from Intek itself.”

The solution, meeting the customer’s initial requirements, integrated a Teledyne Dalsa Geva 1000 vision system with a 640 x 480 pixel Genie monochrome camera, and an Advanced Illumination strobe control. The application used a set of top lights, which allowed for accurate imaging of the darker products, and a set of bottom lights, which ensured accuracy with the lighter products.

A custom human-machine interface (HMI) enables an operator to set up and monitor part inspections performed by Teledyne Dalsa’s Sherlock machine vision software. Courtesy: Teledyne Dalsa“When you can use the same vision application parameters to cover all of the products a customer produces on a single line, you know you have a robust solution,” said Bridgen. “This solution is superior in performance to the alternatives the customer looked at and allows them to accomplish something they weren’t able to do before. The customer benefitted from the high level of engineering experience offered from Intek and the manufacturers. They purchased the solution for less than half of what they would have paid for the systems they originally considered, which would have worked only with light-colored materials, and with inferior results.

“We proved that even a ‘local’ automation expert from Pennsylvania can quickly design and engineer a custom system, which offers the stability and robustness of a standard piece of equipment with the successful installation of additional lines across the globe,” said Bridgen.

“When our customer indicated that they wanted to relocate the original line, we coordinated with Teledyne Dalsa and taught them how to support the solution so that they would be available locally to help ensure our customer’s continued success.”

- Ben Dawson is director of strategic development at Teledyne Dalsa. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering,


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