Automated seal inspection allows manufacturers to ensure that every package is sealed properly with no contamination or foreign material in the critical seal area. Depending on the application, manufacturers can employ either a thermal imaging solution (for heat-sealed packages), a traditional vision system with special edge detection lighting, or a combination of both.
Thermal imaging cameras allows the system to ‘see’ heat signatures created by heat-based sealers. These heat signatures provide a definitive view of the seal and can detect if the heat seal is incomplete.
Using our standard ‘blob’ analysis, the heat can be quantified in a variety of ways including:
- Length of seal
- Number of seals (one vs. many small disjointed seals)
- Intensity of the seal
- Area of the seal
- Location of the seal
All of these analysis methods can be used to determine whether the seal is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and automatic rejection devices can automatically remove the defective packages from the production line.
Using high-resolution imaging cameras, combined with special lighting techniques, it is possible to zoom in on the edges of every package and search for abnormal areas of the seal based on color and size. Several unique methods are also used to determine seal integrity, including the detection and analysis of the heat seal pattern and the identification and quantification of any areas of the seal that show an abnormal seal pattern.