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Automated label inspection

30 January 2023

To remove incorrectly labelled jars from the production line in good time, a producer of stocks and sauces now relies on automated vision inspection systems.

German food company, Jürgen Langbein produces a variety of stocks, soups, sauces and pastes. In a production area spanning around 3,000m3, it manufactures over 200 different products for both the national and international food retail trade. Its soups, sauces and stocks are cooked in 400-litre kettles and then poured into jars and cans.

In order to check that the labels on the jars and preserves contained the correct information, Jürgen Langbein had traditionally relied on a complex, visual inspection of the labels in the incoming goods department. 

"In order to optimise our controls, we made the decision to use a system that automates label inspection," explained Johannes Göttsche, deputy production manager at Jürgen Langbein GmbH. The company specified the V15 round line vision inspection system from Mettler-Toledo. "Our production requirements have changed over time. At 170 jars a minute, we were no longer able to guarantee that someone was looking closely at all the jars. For this reason, we needed to move to an automated solution. 

"We were given the opportunity to work on a prototype at Mettler-Toledo,” continued Göttsche. It was important to the company to have a system that would be able to perform an efficient 360-degree product data inspection, allow quick and easy product changes, and have a robust and compact design. 

Making quick changes
"The V15 system checks 170 products per minute, with five product changes per day. Currently, 220 products are stored in the memory," said Enrico Wiedemann, machine technician at Jürgen Langbein. "We make product changes very simply by hand scanner. So, if we want to run a different product on the line, we scan the product with the barcode, just like in the supermarket, and then the line is changed over." 

In addition to the vision inspection solution, the company also specified a V11 oriented line vision inspection system for label inspection of jars and canned goods. "The V11 only checks 70 products a minute, which is because these products are packed semi-automatically," explained Wiedemann. The smart camera-based integration solution that can be easily integrated into existing production lines or labellers, avoiding the need for any major expenses for rebuilds. 

is also impressed by the quality of the equipment used: "As a food engineer, I am confident in the mechanical and electrical systems. But I also like the frame, because there are no corners and edges where you could hurt yourself or where dust could get trapped. You can really say that the systems are also very appealing in terms of design," concluded Göttsche.

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