Product quality and consistency play an ever-increasing role in determining competitive advantage in today’s markets. Coveris Advanced Coatings are specialists in the coating, laminating and converting of flexible substrates used in medical, pre-press, electronic and optically clear applications and having a thorough understanding of our customer’s expectations is essential.
Two years after implementing its first camera inspection system on a converting line, Coveris Advanced Coatings now has three functioning systems on its coating and converting lines, and will have a fourth by year end.
Fraser Kinnaird, Coveris Advanced Coatings Sales Director explains, ‘‘Customer and End User demands on Quality are increasing at levels that have never been seen before. Whether it is optically clear films for mobile phones and tablets or defect free wound dressings, the standards are continually rising.’’
The first benefit of camera inspection is that it allows Coveris Advanced Coatings to contain any defects that may arise, but more importantly it creates the potential as a feedback tool to improve processes and eradicate defects.
The commercial benefits have been enormous. Working with one of Coveris Advanced Coatings key customers has led to a fourfold reduction in defects which has led to our customer of 1% or less.
Implementation of camera inspection on the wide range of products produced by Coveris Advanced Coatings is a complex process. Products are opaque whilst others are transparent. Defects can be dark in appearance and have a wide range of shapes whilst air bubbles have an entirely different appearance. The inspection system needs to be trained to ‘’see’’ relevant features. Once ‘’trained’’ the camera system provides a powerful statistical tool which permits detailed studies on process optimisation.