6,172,748: Machine vision system and method for non-contact container inspection

The invention is directed to a process of inspecting a container wherein a container is positioned at a predetermined location for inspection. At least a portion of the container is illuminated over a defined finish surface, which can relate to various complete surfaces of the container design. Illuminating light is captured from an area corresponding to the defined finish surface without physical manipulation of the container. Thereafter, it is determined whether the defined finish surface of the container is within predetermined tolerances, which then can be used for quality control or other purposes. An apparatus in accordance with the invention preferably has a source of illuminating light to direct light over defined finish surface of the container, and a light sensor to capture light from an area corresponding to at least the defined finish surface. The light sensor provides image information relating to the defined finish surface, and a processor allows determination of whether the defined finish surface is within the predetermined tolerance.

6,621,569: Illuminator for machine vision

The present invention is directed to inspection of sealing surfaces of containers for defects which may prevent proper sealing of the container. The present invention provides an inspection apparatus, system, and method for dark-field machine vision inspection of containers, such as glass containers or other containers having a sealing surface. The illumination system provides a dual directional helical illumination technique, which enhances the ability to distinguish any defects in the sealing surface area. The illumination system may also provide the ability to adjust the diameter of a circular illumination pattern, so as to allow adjustability and optimization of the illumination characteristics for differing container configurations.

7,187,797: Color machine vision system for colorimetry

A method of inspection for use with color machine vision systems is provided in which a device-independent digital colorimetric image of a reference object is created on a first machine vision system. The digital colorimetric image can then be shared with other machine vision systems by sending the image electronically, instead of requiring the sharing of the actual reference object. A video image can then be calculated on the second machine vision system using the colorimetric image. The calculated video image can then be used as a reference for comparisons during video inspection on the second machine vision system.

7,262,779: Differential imaging colorimeter

A differential imaging colorimeter system and method which utilizes a RGB color camera to provide accurate differential colorimetry which can be employed as a portable, dedicated, offline system. The system utilizes a portable processor such as a laptop computer, a hand-held imaging head comprising a color camera, a lens, a plurality of white LED lights, a base plate defining an imaging region, housed in an opaque cover, wherein the imaging head provides a RGB video image to the portable processor; and a software program loaded on the portable processor for applying a geometric transform on an image obtained with the imaging head to match a stored reference image. The computer calculates differential colorimetry values to compare current images with a stored reference image.

7,308,142: System and methods for rogue can detection

A vision system and methods to detect rogue objects on a product processing line are disclosed. The vision system includes a camera, a source of illumination, a user interface, and a computer-based platform including a memory. The vision system captures images from objects on the product processing line as the objects pass by the camera which is mounted on the product processing line. Image pixel data is converted to vectors of mean pixel values for each captured image from each object, using the vision system. The vectors are compared to a vector training set stored within the memory of the vision system to determine if the objects correspond to “rogue” objects or not, using the vision system. The vector training set is representative of the current product (i.e., objects) being processed on the product processing line.

7,313,270: Vision system and method for process monitoring

A method and system to monitor randomly oriented objects on a process line are disclosed. A color camera is used initially to collect a set of training images from a set of training objects on a process line. The training images represent various random spatial orientations of the training objects with respect to the color camera. The training objects serve as the standard for the process. The training images are stored in a computer-based platform. The color camera is then used to capture images of monitored objects as the monitored objects pass by the color camera on the process line. The monitored objects have a random spatial orientation with respect to the color camera as the monitored objects pass through the field-of-view of the color camera. The captured images of the monitored objects are processed by the computer-based platform and compared to the training images in order to determine if certain characteristic parameters of the monitored objects have deviated from those same characteristic parameters of the training objects. If so, the process may be adjusted to correct for the deviations in order to bring the process back into tolerance.

7,379,177: System and method for performing hard glass inspection

A system and method to inspect objects for a characteristic parameter. The system includes at least one electromagnetic source for emitting at least two separate wavelengths of electromagnetic energy. At least one electromagnetic detector is positioned at a predefined distance from the electromagnetic source to measure an incident intensity value of the electromagnetic energy at the two wavelengths. An object, placed between the electromagnetic source and the electromagnetic detector is irradiated with electromagnetic energy at the two wavelengths and the electromagnetic energy transmitted through the object is measured by the electromagnetic detector. The system includes a computer-based platform operationally connected to the electromagnetic detector for receiving intensity data values from the electromagnetic detector and for computing attenuation ratio values. The attenuation ratio values are used to determine a level of the characteristic parameter.

7,394,937: Vision system and method for process monitoring

A method and system to monitor randomly oriented objects on a process line are disclosed. A color camera is used initially to collect a set of reference images of at least one reference object. The reference images represent various spatial orientations of the reference object. The reference object serves as the standard for the process. The reference images are stored in a computer-based platform. The color camera is then used to capture images of monitored objects as the monitored objects pass by the color camera on a process line. The monitored objects may have a random spatial orientation with respect to the color camera as the monitored objects pass through the field-of-view of the color camera. The captured images of the monitored objects are processed by the computer-based platform and compared to the reference images in order to determine if certain characteristic parameters of the monitored objects have deviated from those same characteristic parameters of the reference object. If so, the process may be adjusted to correct for the deviations in order to bring the process back into tolerance.

7,414,716: Machine for inspecting glass containers

A machine for inspecting the finish of a glass container rotating at an inspection station. A pair of light sources have horizontal light axes which are orthogonally related and intersect the container axis. The light sources illuminate the container finish. The illuminated checks are seen by a camera which has a camera axis coincident with the container axis and intersects the light axes making an angle of 45 degrees with both light axes and the horizontal.

7,430,311: Insulating Material

A system and method for imaging an interior of a substantially cylindrical object are disclosed. In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, a substantially cylindrical illuminator is positioned above an opening of a substantially cylindrical object to be imaged (e.g., a beverage can) in order to illuminate at least a portion of the interior surface of the object. A truncated conical mirror is positioned within an interior space of the illuminator to reflect an image of at least a portion of the interior surface of the object. A single camera is positioned above the illuminator and mirror to capture a single image of at least the interior surface of the object via light reflected directly from at least a portion of the interior surface of the object to the camera and from the mirror to the camera. The entire interior surface of the object is captured in the single image which may be analyzed for defects.

7,541,572: Machine for inspecting rotating glass containers with light source triggered multiple times during camera exposure time

A machine for inspecting glass containers rotating at an inspection station. A camera images an area of interest on the glass container and continuous illumination of that area is provided by strobing a light source a number of times while the area is imaged on a camera the entire period.

7,625,100: System and method for inside can inspection

A system and method for imaging an interior of a substantially cylindrical object are disclosed. In accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, a substantially cylindrical illuminator is positioned above an opening of a substantially cylindrical object to be imaged (e.g., a beverage can) in order to illuminate at least a portion of the interior surface of the object. A truncated conical mirror is positioned within an interior space of the illuminator to reflect an image of at least a portion of the interior surface of the object. A single camera is positioned above the illuminator and mirror to capture a single image of at least the interior surface of the object via light reflected directly from at least a portion of the interior surface of the object to the camera and from the mirror to the camera. The entire interior surface of the object is captured in the single image which may be analyzed for defects.

7,626,158: Machine for inspecting glass containers

A machine for inspecting a rotating glass container for defects wherein the image evaluated for defects is a critical addition of a plurality of additions each defined by a plurality of time spaced images.

7,667,836: Apparatus and methods for container inspection

Apparatus, systems, and methods to recognize features on bottom surfaces of metal containers on a metal container production line, detect defects in the metal containers, and correlate the defects to specific production equipment of the metal container production line, based in part on the recognized features. The system includes imaging apparatus, programmable processing devices, and controllers. The methods include imaging techniques and estimation techniques.

7,684,034: Apparatus and methods for container inspection

Apparatus, systems, and methods to recognize features on bottom surfaces of containers on a container production line, detect defects in the containers, and correlate the defects to specific production equipment of the container production line, based in part on the recognized features. The system includes imaging apparatus, programmable processing devices, and controllers. The methods include imaging techniques and estimation techniques.

7,697,132: Machine for inspecting glass containers

A machine for distinguishing blisters from checks on the finish of a glass container. The captured objects are located in a band to define a cluster. The cluster is evaluated to determine whether it is a multiple cluster and each defined cluster is evaluated to distinguish a check from a blister.

7,773,214: Apparatus and methods for container inspection

Apparatus, systems, and methods to recognize features on bottom surfaces of containers on a container production line, detect defects in the containers, and correlate the defects to specific production equipment of the container production line, based in part on the recognized features. The system includes imaging apparatus, programmable processing devices, and controllers. The methods include imaging techniques and estimation techniques.

7,816,639: Machine for inspecting glass containers at an inspection station using an addition of a plurality of illuminations of reflected light

A machine for inspecting glass containers which are being rotated at an inspection station. A light source illuminates a selected area on a rotating glass container while the container rotates through a selected angle and a camera is triggered to capture an image while the bottle rotates through that angle. A plurality of sequential images are recorded and a critical addition is made to be inspected.

7,876,951: Machine for inspecting glass containers

A machine for inspecting the finish of a glass container rotating at an inspection station. A pair of light sources, which are repeatedly turned on and off, have horizontal light axes which are orthogonally related and intersect the container axis. The light sources illuminate the container finish to identify checks. The illuminated checks are imaged by a camera which has a camera axis coincident with the container axis and the intersecting light axes. The camera axis makes an angle of 45 degrees with both light axes and the horizontal. The camera is exposed through multiple images.

7,898,655: Machine for inspecting glass containers

A machine for distinguishing blisters from checks on the finish of a glass container. The captured objects are located in a band to define a cluster. The cluster is evaluated to determine whether it is a multiple cluster and each defined cluster is evaluated to distinguish a check from a blister.

9,448,115: MultiView Illumination

Systems and methods for extracting topographic information from inspected objects to identify defects in the inspected objects. A part to be inspected is illuminated with at least two different colors emitted from an illuminator providing a gradient of light consisting of at least two different colors. A single color image of the illuminated part to be inspected is acquired, providing a color-coded topographic mapping of the part to be inspected due, at least in part, to the gradient of light. Topographic monochrome views of the part to be inspected may be generated from the single color image. Each view of the topographic monochrome views may enhance a different type of feature or defect present in the part to be inspected which can be analyzed and detected.