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Case Studies

Highly Simplified Programming of a Vision System

Keyence Corporation of America

CV-X Vision SystemJohnson & Johnson's Health and Beauty site in Sézanne, France, quickly set up a detection system that reliability problems.

The site employs 220 people and manufactures tampons, nursing pads and adhesive bandages. Johnson and Johnson wanted a way to count the number of tampons placed in each box on one of the Sézanne site's packing lines. The tampons are loaded and fed into a hopper that places them in boxes held open by a guide. The fact that the tampons are white, arranged against a white background and can become slightly entangled makes it hard to detect them by means of shape recognition. "We wanted to increase the reliability of this detection method that we were already familiar with and which could be a source of problems," explains Maxime Bara, a member of the engineering department at Johnson & Johnson Health Beauty France.

It was decided to detect the tampons by identifying, a method that is more reliable because it overcomes variations in the angle, orientation and position of the targets.

"Programming this type of detection takes time, but with the CV-X vision system there is absolutely no comparison. The tools we used to use required advanced programming skills. But the CV-X's menu is very intuitive and, most importantly, completely straightforward. The CV-X features an array of preprogrammed functions that are very clear, so you always know what you're doing. You never feel lost in the programming," explains Mr Bara.

By solving all the problems that its end users may encounter, the new CV-X Series simplifies all the complex steps in implementing a vision system. Its menus are understandable by anyone and its tools are organized by category. Once a selection is made, operators simply have to follow the setup steps in the order given by the software. The context-sensitive help provides the information needed to easily understand each operation.

Johnson & Johnson O.B. TamponsThe result is faster and more reliable programming. "The first time I used the system, it took me only one hour to create my own program. It's easier to increase the detection reliability because you have full control over adjustments when testing the system in operation. This was one of the problems we noticed with competing systems. In all, it took just one day to create the five programs corresponding to the different products that are packed," adds Mr Bara.

With the CV-X Series, the shapes of the tampons are recognised stably and repeatedly regardless of their position. The 5-megapixel high does not affect the speed thanks to the capacity of the controller and Shape Trax II, a new outline shape detection function that requires less computing power.

The CV-X's HDR image processing algorithm allows Mr Bara's teams to achieve "reliable detection without having to apply any filters, which is a major first for us. We simply added a 45-degree light as direct lighting would have made it hard to distinguish the white tampons against their white background." Mr Bara adds that "the new system makes it easy to carry out complex inspections without having to call on an expert."

KEYENCE Vision SystemThe CV-X Series greatly simplifies the programming of complex inspections that used to require the assistance of an expert. The CV-X Series also features a new and particularly simple automatic measurement module as well as tools for automatically generating a user's manual.

The CV-X is the only vision system with an auto-teaching function. It teaches the system how to recognise around thirty non-defective targets so that it 'adjusts' allowable manufacturing tolerances by itself. Inspections cover an array of features, including shape, colour and pattern. Recognising the similarities between non-defective targets rather than detect defective targets helps to eliminate traditional instability factors.

KEYENCE has steadily grown since 1974 to become an innovative leader in the development and manufacturing of automation equipment worldwide. Our products consist of automation sensors, static eliminators, barcode readers, measuring instruments, vision systems, laser markers, and digital microscopes.

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