Manufacturing News

Where Machine Eyes Outperform Tired Human Eyes

LatestHeadlines_Machine
The Luceo ThermoSecure L300 video inspection system checks meat and package quality at D'Autore. Source: Luceo Inspection Systems.

Italian meat producer, D’Autore, is a perfectionist when it comes to the quality of its packaged meat products, which include cured ham, bresaola, salami and other deli items. Its single, highly automated facility in Castelnuovo Rangone employs 35 people, where products are packed for private-label customers as well as the D’Autore brand.
To assist in maintaining high quality, the processor wanted to develop a zero tolerance for errors in product quality while increasing production rates. This was a case where machine vision could outperform human eyes, not only in checking for quality but also in maintaining a consistent level of performance.

“We needed to install a system capable of detecting a number of potential problems with the trays that could arise on packing lines with an extremely high daily throughput, and which are operated by a number of different teams,” says I. Maroni, plant director. “We wanted to inspect for the presence of product in the seal area and the incorrect positioning or absence of the label. The two determining factors that led us to consider a computer vision system have been our desire to increase productivity and to apply quality control procedures that are compatible with the high quality levels that we are seeking.”

Initially, D’Autore turned to local Italian equipment suppliers, but found none of the proposed solutions satisfactory. D’Autore reviewed vision inspection equipment used at other food processors and decided to look at Luceo systems.

One important factor in choosing Luceo was the assistance and responsiveness the supplier was able to offer. Luceo was able to test and monitor the system while it was in operation on production lines running at normal production rates. The vision system was also flexible enough to inspect a wide variety of trays in a range of formats, films and colors.

D’Autore chose to install a ThermoSecure L300 system. The system’s software is simple to use and provides data archiving, traceability and quality assurance features.

The vision system is capable of inspecting all formats, and looks for the following defects:

  • The presence of product in the seal
  • The presence or absence of a label on the upper surface of the tray
  • The presence or absence of the use-by-date (UBD), with readout of the printed date and verification it is correct
  • Verification of the bar code on the tray
  • Verification of correct film and correct film centering
  • Presence of white fat particles in a darker product such as ham.

“The main requirement that we imposed on Luceo was a margin of error of zero,” says Maroni. “Our new ThermoSecure system not only achieves this zero tolerance level, it also detects errors that are missed by the operators who cannot be expected to check so many packages passing by so quickly, especially towards the end of a long shift.”

Quality assurance is an important foundation of D’Autore’s business. “We now have the ability to generate reports and statistics, either in real time or later in the process, to highlight specific production problems,” adds Maroni. “This is a fundamental requirement in improving production planning and reacting to problems.”

D’Autore reports several benefits of the new video inspection system. Production has increased by approximately 20 percent, and product quality has been improved with a zero tolerance for errors.

For more information: Julia Mann, Luceo, 832-516-8125, j.mann@luceo-inspection.com, Web site.
 

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

IPPE 2015

The 2015 International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) was held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center, Jan. 27-29. More than 30,000 poultry, meat and feed industry representatives attended the event to interact with the 1,288 exhibitors on the show floor that covered more than 490,000 net square feet. At the show exhibitors demonstrated innovations in equipment, supplies and services utilized by firm in the production and processing of meat, poultry, eggs and feed products.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering March 2015 cover

2015 March

In this March 2015 issue of Food Engineering, we explore how a surprise FDA audit could be serious if you're not recording key data.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.