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Case Studies

Inspection of Medical Products for Assembly Verification

by Joe Gugliotti, Business Development Manager - VAIA Technologies LLC

Problem Statement:

The component being inspected is a medical device. Automated inspection is of primary importance to the client. Prior to using VAIA’s more advanced integrated inspection system, each medical device was already being inspected using machine vision, but the system:

1) Used a lower resolution monochrome inspection image that made it difficult to inspect small components

2) Did not take advantage of the fact that certain components were best imaged and inspected in color

3) Suffered from uneven lighting and reflection problems off the front of the part

4) Was not tightly integrated into the overall PLC-based process control configuration of the production line

With new production lines being built, the client wished to develop a next-generation version of the inspection system.

VAIA Solution Description:

VAIA developed a more advanced color imaging system with much higher image resolution to overcome many of the limitations of the original system. This was integrated directly into 2 next-generation in-line enclosures developed specifically for the new production lines being built.

The integrated medical device inspection solution provided by VAIA:

  • Improves image resolution, provides color inspection tools, and improves the lighting configuration
  • Permits the selection of the inspection recipe configuration for the medical device model to be inspected via an HMI (there are 13 models)
  • Accepts setup information, communicating via Ethernet to and from the machine PLC to configure the entire machine to test the desired part number
  • Automates the medical device inspection, providing 100% inspection and verification of the internal components
  • Generates a Pass or Fail signal communicated to the machine PLC
  • Generates a Failure error code communicated to the machine PLC
  • Displays process information to the operator
  • Stores associated date, time, product type, and failure code for each failed product
  • Stores the image of each failed product
  • Monitors all system faults
  • Provides an audit trail, critical for medical product manufacture

Technologies Integrated:

  • Detailed inspection result graphics and mapping to display the inspection results
  • Tight integration of vision inspection, machine setup, and results communication for improved process control


Using this system, the client improved the quality and comprehensiveness of the inspection process for each medical device model, implemented improved process control, and is receiving improved inspection system feedback about assembly failures, thus improving root cause analysis.


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