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Case Studies

Inspection of Foil Lids and Seals on Fruit and Juice Cups

by Joe Gugliotti - VAIA Technologies LLC

Problem Statement

Using statistical sampling inspection is not enough to determine whether a cup is likely to become a “leaker”, whereby it contains small channels within the foil lid such that air can get in (spoiling the product) or applesauce can get out, causing a mess and returned product. If a customer detects leakers, an entire shipment may be returned for additional inspection or replacement.

In addition, an off-center lid may become a leaker if the edge of the lid is not fully sealed and, of course, holes in the foil lid will cause both spoilage and leakage.

Finally, it was too easy to apply the wrong lid, in that the machines are loaded by hand, and similar-looking lid graphics were causing issues with shipping the wrong lids to the wrong customer.

VAIA Integrated Solution

This integrated system provides Foil Lid Inspection on applesauce cups to determine:

1. Whether the foil lid seal area has any bubbles, folds, or “channels” such that the containers may become leakers or seal problem may lead to product spoilage.

2. Whether there are pinholes in the foil lid and whether the foil lid is properly centered on the cup

3. Whether the expected lid is being used, key for contract packaging

Technologies Integrated:

  • Designed, fabricated, and integrated in-house
  • Based on VAIA’s SurePro application environment
  • High speed multi-camera inspection solution
  • Lighting optimized for each inspection task
  • Integrated air blow-off rejecter
  • A custom singulator to ensure proper cup spacing as they moved through the system
  • Wash-down construction
  • Improved reporting and failed cup image storage

Benefits

Using this foil lid inspection system, the client can detect, address, and resolve upstream lid-application problems quickly, before hundreds of defective cups are produced. By ejecting potential problem cups, distributor and customer satisfaction are improved.

 

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