Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Visions of collaboration: An inspection device specialist works with a machine vision powerhouse to create a solution for the bottling sector

June 6, 2011
By Cognex

FT Systems specializes in the design and production of high technology inspection and control devices for insertion in any bottling or packaging line. Well established in the bottling sector, the company leads the Italian market and has gained the trust of many international clients.

The secret of its success lies in the research and development of innovative and technologically advanced solutions to meet customer requirements. Enthusiasm and collaboration with the international market has enabled FT Systems to demonstrate long-term reliability and creativity.

FT Systems was already a Cognex customer, so it was easy for them to choose OmniView, the company’s 360-degree bottle inspection system, when it required a new solution. OmniView is capable of an accurate reconstruction of the final image from images received from video cameras placed on the line.

The OmniView system has been integrated into the IE4000 label inspection machine from FT Systems. According to FT Systems, OmniView has eliminated the main weak point of 360-degree inspection systems – dependence on the quality of the final images from the position of the bottles on the line. Using three-dimensional reconstruction, it is possible to generate stable images of the bottles analysed, enabling label checks to be made as if perfectly flattened, the company explains.


The system adopted by FT Systems includes four cameras that can see the surface of the bottles in whatever position they may be. The OmniView software processes the four images and displays them in a single image, compensating for any variation in position during transportation. To inspect a particular feature of interest, it is sufficient to configure the inspection system directly on the whole reconstructed image. OmniView eliminates the costly requirements associated with mechanical rotation of the parts to enable them to be inspected. In this manner, it is possible to reduce the complexity of the production line, lowering the costs and increasing the production rate, the companies say.

The advantages of OmniView, according to Cognex, include:
• No need to rotate the parts to inspect them;
* Whole surface of bottles can be inspected at the same time;
* Full inspection can be carried out without contact at a speed of up to 1,000 ppm;
* Effective solutions benefit from Cognex advanced vision algorithms; and
* A more rapid and convenient alternative than linear video cameras.

By including the new system in an existing structure, it was possible to benefit from FT Systems’ experience in the field of label inspection to rapidly provide customers with a versatile machine. The applications run from recognition of scratches or tears to the inspection of printing, as well as the ability to read codes and inspect OCR/OCV – optical character recognition and verification. The VisionPro libraries built into OmniView, combined with the experience of FT Systems, have made it possible to create a product dedicated to the bottling sector.

Thanks to the IE4000-3D machines, FT Systems customers can guarantee perfect bottles reach the market with no labelling defects. The machine also meets the requirements of those customers who require stringent precision in the labelling process, particularly when exporting to markets that are quality-sensitive.

Today, the FT Systems IE4000-3D machine with Cognex OmniView has produced optimum results satisfying the requirements of companies bottling wine, liquors, juices and drinks, with production ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 bottles per hour.

FT Systems intends to continue developing the machine, together with Cognex, to supply highly efficient and simple systems to be used and inserted in production lines. For this reason, Cognex International and FT Systems have signed an agreement to formalize their collaboration in the field of machines intended for the bottling and filling sector in general. After many successful applications, FT Systems has decided only to use Cognex vision systems for its whole production range.

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