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Highly Simplified Programming of a Vision System

Johnson & Johnson’s Health and Beauty site in Sézanne, France, quickly set up a detection system that solves 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 organised 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.

The 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 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.”

The 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.