Autonomous machine vision offers quick solution for quality assurance

A new autonomous machine vision system, the Inspekto S70, is being employed for quality inspection of FFP2 (filtering face piece) face masks by German manufacturer Univent Medical GmbH. The signature product of Inspekto, the German-Israeli pioneer in the field, is the only autonomous machine vision system on the market.

The Inspekto S70 is being used to detect defects in the masks’ metal nose holder, which is especially important because defective metal strips could permanently damage the cutting machine. It also looks for defects in the ultrasonic soldering, company and CE logo, and straps soldering.

Univent Medical has had positive initial results. The company increased production of the face masks with a new production line in response to the increased demand for emergency supplies. The system demonstrated its reliability and accuracy, flagging masks that contained defects in the specified areas and metal strips that could cause damage.

As a self-contained, out-of-the box, fully configured and ready to use vision inspection system, Inspekto S70 differs from traditional custom-built machine vision solutions that require a lengthy integration process. The new system requires only final integration on the production line. This is a great option for manufacturers who need reliable quality assurance in place quickly and do not have the time to wait for traditional machine vision to be developed and integrated.

“Manual inspection carries a very high error rate, and we can’t allow that to happen when producing critical emergency supplies, such as face masks,” stated Jürgen Eichinger, operations manager at Univent Medical GmbH. “Quality is at the core of all our operations, which is why we needed a flexible machine vision solution that would be quick to set up and easy to operate. We found the ideal partner in Inspekto.”

Vanessa Pfau, manager for Germany at Inspekto, explained that “The Inspekto S70 is not product-specific. It autonomously learns the characteristics of any new product in about an hour, from just 20 good samples, then flags up any abnormalities during inspection. This means that it can be used to inspect a huge variety of different items.”

The face mask production line is an example of the type of quick implementation for which the Inspekto S70 is well-suited. It quickly learned the characteristics of the FFP2 masks and can be used again for a completely different product. The company expects its system to be useful during the pandemic and beyond.