Machine Vision Lighting in Food & Beverage

With ever-increasing quality, traceability, and safety requirements in the food and beverage industry, and improvements in technology, the contribution that machine vision can make to businesses looking to improve efficiencies and performance, continues to grow. In applications such as inspection, sorting, and grading, machine vision systems can enable higher inspection rates, increased throughput, and improved quality. Recent advances in multispectral and hyperspectral imaging have further expanded the range of solutions available for this industry.

The Role of Machine Vision Lighting

The purpose of a machine vision system is to identify certain features of interest in the target material. The performance of the system relies on obtaining a “good image” but how do we define a good image? A “good” image is an image that highlights the features of interest, allowing the system software to quickly and easily identify any issues, for example, a defect in the item under test. This is primarily achieved by enhancing the contrast between the features of interest, and the background and ensuring sufficient signal (light intensity) for the image to be detected. Wavelength, uniformity, angle of illumination, and intensity are critical to maximizing contrast, and obtaining a good image can result in faster processing times, faster line speed, and a more robust and reliable quality control process.

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Multispectral & Hyperspectral Imaging

In recent years, the rapid expansion of multispectral and hyperspectral imaging technologies provides opportunities for greater efficiencies and accuracy in the food and beverage industry. Multispectral Imaging is where a number of wavelengths are used discretely or together in imaging applications while hyperspectral imaging has a significantly higher number of detection bands than multispectral imaging. These types of imaging allow much larger amounts of data to be collected during inspection. Illumination is particularly important because you are using a specific spectrum to find information on the target.

ProPhotonix offers the COBRA MultiSpec and COBRA HyperSpec LED Line lights to address multispectral and hyperspectral imaging applications. Both products are available with up to 12 wavelengths from 365nm to 1750nm from a compact form factor with precise control of the light via a user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI).

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Multispectral Solution for Food & Beverage Application

A manufacturer of inline sorting and grading equipment needed a flexible, cost-effective, multi-wavelength LED light for a vision system used to sort and grade fruit and vegetables. The application demanded that the light operate reliably in challenging conditions including a dusty environment and harsh washdown conditions, at high line speed and allow the machine vision system to identify different types of contaminants as well as properties in the material under inspection quickly and reliably.

ProPhotonix worked in partnership with the customer to develop a detailed understanding of their application requirements and designed a custom, RGB-IR LED light for high-speed inspection of fruit and vegetables. Optimum wavelength selection and custom control electronics enabled multiple inspections with the same system while a cost-effective modular system allowed maintenance to be completed in the field resulting in a significantly higher throughput, increased flexibility, and a lower cost of ownership.

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New Whitepaper

Multispectral and Hyperspectral Lighting for the Food & Beverage Industry

With ever increasing quality, traceability and safety requirements in the food and beverage industry, more and more businesses are looking toward vision systems to help improve their efficiencies and overall performance. The rapid improvements in multispectral and hyperspectral imaging technologies, coupled with reduced component costs, has enabled a wider range of applications to benefit from LED technology. In applications such as food and beverage inspection, sorting, grading and analysis; optimized multispectral and hyperspectral lighting is enabling greater efficiencies and accuracy, higher inspection rates, increased throughput and improved quality over traditional technologies.

For more information on multispectral and hyperspectral lighting or the food and beverage industry download our new whitepaper.

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3D Imaging

In 3D imaging applications, structured light lasers enable faster data capture recording multiple points at the same time. With structured laser light, a known pattern of pixels (singular line, horizontal lines, crosshair, grid) is projected onto an object. The way that these deform when striking surfaces allows vision systems to calculate the depth and surface information of the objects. The speed of data capture is the primary advantage of this technique as multiple points are recorded at the same time making it ideal for high-speed inspection or 3D measurements. It is also particularly useful for larger parts, where multiple scans are required, and can produce highly accurate results. Uniformity, fan angle, line quality, and depth of focus of the laser will all impact the success of the system.

The 3D PRO™ Laser series has a compact cylindrical form factor for easy integration. The 3D PRO Laser is 19mm in diameter and the 3D PRO™ Laser Mini is just 10mm in diameter. Both are configurable platforms with a wide range of wavelengths, power levels, and beam shapes available. High uniformity line lasers are available and these are ideal for machine vision applications.

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Machine Vision Lasers for Portioning Application

A manufacturer of food processing equipment was developing a 3D-imaging system for portioning of fish and needed a high-quality structured light line laser. Optical uniformity and line quality were critical to ensure consistent results with stability over a wide range of temperatures also important.

ProPhotonix worked with the OEM to understand their application needs and configured its 3D PRO Lasers to provide the optimum results. Wavelength, power level, and mechanics were configured to suit the application. The high uniformity achieved with 3D PRO lasers in addition to the repeatable results due to ProPhotonix’ high-quality standards ensured consistently high-quality results and throughput.

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ProPhotonix Solutions for the Food & Beverage Industry

With more than two decades of experience in machine vision, ProPhotonix understands that applications may have very specific requirements. We offer a range of configurable products designed to allow optimization for specific applications from a single established platform. We also work in partnership with OEM customers to develop custom LED lights and lasers developed from concept to completion to suit the application needs, project budget, and timelines. Contact us for more information.

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Bernhard Russell

Inside Sales

Andrea Gregorio

Inside Sales

Case Studies

  • Glass Bottle Inspection

    A Custom LED solution makes high-volume glass bottle inspections feasible.

  • Packaging Inspection

    Custom, IR LED Panel light helps identify defects in glass bottles for Owens-Illinois

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