An innovative vision-capturing technology for packaged foods ensures enhanced accuracy in the inspection and verification of labels and printing for seal integrity at high speeds, said Mettler Toledo CI-Vision.
The new Ultra LS system has been developed to help food manufacturers meet more stringent European labelling regulations, the company told FoodProductionDaily.com at last week’s Anuga FoodTec show in Cologne, Germany.
Pixel by pixel reading
The technology allows manufacturers to inspect individual packages for correct information and positioning, without reducing speeds, it said
The equipment features a novel Linescan Technology which consists of a single row of pixel sensors rather than the traditional camera lens typically employed in many other systems
"The system has two Linescan cameras – one positioned above and the other below the package - which means it can simultaneously read labels on the top and bottom,” said sales manager Miles Kroner. “It captures massive 20MB images and examines every single pixel, row by row, to compile a picture at the end of the process. The PC in the system is the fastest available for the food industry.”
On front labels it can read the 2D matrix code or the label control number (LCN), while on the reverse of the package it gathers an image of the bar code and expiry date. It also has the capacity to scan the label position to detect if it is skewed or not.
The cameras adjust automatically for products ranging from 25mm to 100mm in height and it is able to detect product trapped in seals.
Speed and supply chain traceability
It can read different coloured codes on backgrounds of varying colours thanks to being equipped with both a black and white and colour camera.
Kroner said the equipment could process around 300 packs per minute, which was relatively modest for some segments but was fast for the meat sector.
Mettler Toledo had chosen to launch the machine in Germany in a bid to target the country’s huge meat packing sector, he added
Other features include an IP65 washdown status, a user-friendly touchscreen display designed to promote easy set up and quick changeovers. The latter is also boosted by the system’s pre-set label recipes, featuring weight, price and product data, said Mettler Toledo.
“Food Labelling initiatives and EU Regulation 1169/2011 are making it increasingly necessary for food manufacturers to ensure products are correctly labelled with clear and legible consumer information,” said Ralf Swinka, head of marketing for the company’s German product inspection division. “With accurate automatic systems, manufacturers can track and trace all of their products throughout the supply chain.”