HEAT-SEALED PACKAGES INSPECTION

Quality failures in packaging

Hermetic packaging (MAP, EMAP, vacuum, skin, etc.) preserves the freshness of the product by means of a controlled atmosphere or the vacuum itself. To do this, it is essential to guarantee its correct thermosealing, otherwise the product will lose its qualities and will perish before its best before date, even causing food safety problems. This leads to serious quality problems, and is normally the cause of rejection of whole consignments of products already dispatched.

In order to guarantee the quality of the packaging, the surface of the film and the tray must be perfectly clean in the sealing area, as any type of contamination here will result in the loss of its airtightness, with the consequent degradation of the product.

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Packaging inspection by machine vision

Quality control in the welding area is usually done by RGB type machine vision systems within the visible range. INSPECTRA incorporates this technology in its inspection equipment, applying high resolution RGB vision systems and with optimised detection algorithms, with excellent results.

However, when contamination in the welding area is complex (melted grease, interleaver invasion, transparent plastics, etc.), when the film inks are not uniform or when it is necessary to see through opaque inks, RGB vision technology is not sufficient for effective detection. As a solution to these problems, INSPECTRA’s equipment also incorporates hyperspectral vision technology, carrying out an inspection by chemical image, and being able to detect these more complex defects, which until recently the technology on the market was unable to solve.

Chemical image packaging inspection

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The hyperspectral vision technology, developed and patented by INSPECTRA for continuous process packaging inspection applications, allows the analysis of the heat seal by detecting contamination by transparent elements (different chemical composition) and seeing through opaque inks, something completely innovative in packaging inspection technologies.

These applications are developed to suit each type of package and product, and it is essential to carry out an initial scope evaluation phase with the customer.

The hyperspectral vision also allows the characterisation of the chemical composition of the surface of the packaged product, allowing the detection of the presence of foreign bodies and the classification of the product according to the presence of chemical compounds (e.g. % lean/fat, humidity, etc.) INSPECTRA combines hyperspectral vision technology with high resolution RGB technology for the inspection of other quality parameters of the package, such as the correct positioning of the film and the product, reading of texts and labels, and even analysis of quality parameters of the packaged product.