INJECTION MOLDING: IML Systems with Vision Inspection

No longer a premium option, optical inspection reportedly has become a must-have feature in IML systems.

Beck Automation of Switzerland (U.S. office in St. Louis) is now offering turnkey in-mold labeling (IML) systems with integrated, flexible vision inspection systems from Intravis GmbH in Germany (office in Norcross, Ga.). No longer just for premium IML systems, optical inspection has become a “must-have” feature, according to Beck Automation. The IMLWatcher vision system (also available separately from Intravis) can check for label presence, label identity, label position, blow-by, pin marks, wrinkles or blisters, contamination, printing defects or misalignment, and label edge defects. Accuracy is 0.1 mm (for a 50 x 50 mm label) and maximum test speed allows imaging intervals as short as 20 millisec.

Flexible software is said to adapt to a wide variety of IML tasks. Distance between the labeled part and camera lens can be freely adjusted by means of a servo to compensate for different sizes of parts. Overall, the system can inspect a wide range of objects such as lids, tubs, trays, buckets, and all common types of labels, including bands and bottom labels.