Automatic visual inspection of process decision-points is the great frontier of process control. Coolearth has quietly been developing the expertise to emerge as a leader in cost-effective solutions for this very challenging area.
Consider small processing operations:
- Sorting chicken breasts, wings, legs & thighs by meat color or several dimensions at once
- Counting complex objects or large numbers of objects
- Looking for the “odd item” that could ruin a batch of food, packages or widgets
- Inspecting cups or ice cream novelties for defects such as poor chocolate coverage or chipped sandwich wafer as they shoot toward a packaging station.
- Looking for the “missing item” such as a bottle cap that’s missing in a 6-pack
- Evaluating color, such as the proper hue of cooked meat or baked cookies
- Evaluating quality, such as reflectance of a surface, mars in finish, or specs in painted areas.
- Monitoring safety, such as sausage that’s been cooked without folding … with major issues of hygiene riding on the detection of a problem.
Until recently, these kinds of optical challenges took a supercomputer to handle the calculations. Now, the work can be done on affordable hardware, and Coolearth has been creating software that is cost-effective for small manufacturers and process-control operations.