Company is preparing to usher in the next era of smart inspection machines
The research and development team at IRIS Inspection machines is constantly challenging itself to improve the technology employed by the company’s glass container inspection equipment. As a result of these efforts, an innovative approach to defect identification has been developed, providing even better productivity results and bringing Evolution equipment into a new era of smart machines.
While previous technologies relied heavily on operator knowledge and experience to help machines identify defects in glass containers, Evolution NEO represents an important change from other inspection machines. This latest generation technology includes intelligent defect recognition, whereby Evolution NEO can detect, recognise and provide accurate information about defects, only requiring the operator to determine their size.
Reduced dependence on human intervention was a key goal for this strategic development, alongside a desire to provide even better productivity results, while bringing the smart factory concept significantly closer to reality.
Jean-Luc Logel, Chief Executive Officer at IRIS Inspection machines, emphasises that his R&D Department is constantly investigating the latest advances in technology to keep its machines at the forefront of innovation. The company works closely with customers to understand their daily tasks, identifying unnecessarily time-consuming functions and exploring solutions that will help them to save time and money.
This development focus has coincided with the international glass container industry’s move towards the adoption of Industry 4.0 business practices. Mr Logel stresses that the Industry 4.0 revolution is not exclusively about technology and digitalisation, however. “It also concerns people, skills and their relationship,” he says. “It’s another way of working, moving from a product-centric to customer-centric approach.”
The Evolution NEO project has involved more than six man-years of intensive work by IRIS R&D engineers, whose efforts have been rewarded with the realisation of an innovative defect approach that relates to defect identification, as well as the creation of statistics by defect type. Local trend analyses are produced on the machine, with information presented in a user-friendly format.
Repeatability of settings is an important advantage, with a library of alternatives created for the initiation of faster, precise and repeatable adjustments. Less dependent on human intervention, every setting has been redesigned to be handled by the machine itself. Evolution NEO recognises the article and its exact shape, automatically drawing the inspection zone. This simplifies job changes for the operator and reduces the human error factor significantly.
The equipment delivers valuable features that help glass container producers to save time during the manufacturing process.
While operators need accurate data and images that show the defect, however, their managers require an overview for decision-making purposes. Evolution NEO has been specifically designed to provide the correct information for the right person.
Featuring advanced statistical tools, the equipment allows operators to follow defect rejection rates, while also bringing their immediate attention to the most significant information analysed by the machine. Accessed via a laptop, smartphone or tablet, this approach provides managers with an overview of production quality and productivity. In addition, within its statistical tools, Evolution NEO integrates a helpful set of different data, including time, mould number, images etc. The specially designed dashboard permits different analysis levels to be presented, either in the form of a quick overview or deeper analysis. In particular, alerts can be accessed remotely.
The latest IRIS software release improves the inter-operability between Evolution NEO machines and hot end equipment, with the ability to share defect characteristics and defect images in real-time, alerting IS machine operators to instances of critical defect detection.
An Evolution NEO machine has been installed and tested for several months at a leading glass container plant in Europe, with successful results achieved. The equipment will be shown at glasstec 2018 exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany (Hall 14, Stand No C22).