BitFlow Joins with OneBoxVision in Developing Vision Systems for Plastic Film Extruder

WOBURN, MA, AUGUST 18, 2020 — BitFlow recently assisted OneBoxVision, an integrator located in Ireland, in developing two web-based machine vision systems for a North American film extruder. The systems ensure consistent, defect-free film for plastic bags used for storage of powered milk. Dry milk products are highly sensitive to environmental conditions, particularly to moisture. This vulnerability makes it critical that plastic bags storing the powder not have holes where water or humidity can enter to spoil the product.

To prevent holes, the extruder required its plastic film be  continuously assessed for the presence of carbon or “black” specks while it was being extruded on a blown film line. Black specks in plastic film or sheet – especially in light-colored or clear plastics used to store foods – can cause holes in the material when it’s later oriented or thermoformed. Black specks also lead to expensive rejects, wasted resin, and production downtime, not to mention client dissatisfaction.

Once the extruded plastic is processed, inspected and approved at the first plant, it is shipped to a second site where an automated line fabricates it into bags during a multi-state production process. Another inspection station was installed there by OneBoxVision to scan the finished bags. OneBoxVision networked the system so that management at the second plant had access to the inspection data from the extrusion plant to compare results.

For the key technology enabler, OneBoxVision relied upon its SurfaceFlow™ software. SurfaceFlow is a complete quality package that can be deployed on plastic film lines to automatically detect holes, carbon, wrinkles, contamination and gels. Hardware included BitFlow Axion CL 2xE CameraLink frame grabbers, along with Chromasens allPIXA pro line scan cameras transmitting color images full-tilt at over 1 Gbytes per second. By adopting an “off-the-shelf” non-proprietaryhardware approach, OneBoxVision enables plastic film extruders, printers and converters, medical packaging manufacturers, and injection molding plants to deploy its high-performance solutions at a far lower cost with reduced risk.

By timing the line-by-line scanning with the transport cycle in the transport direction, a distortion-free image of the bags can be achieved. The particular strength of the line scan cameras emerges when they are used in conjunction with a highly deterministic, low latency frame grabber. In this situation, the BitFlow frame grabber synchronizes the image captures with the incoming triggers, plus provides energy to the cameras with its Power over Camera Link (PoCL).

One of the challenges for the second operation was that the bag inspection system had to be placed after a rotary punch perforated the bags. This meant the new system had to not only inspect for random holes in the plastic that could spoil the milk powder, but check that the manufactured perforations were properly made and in-place. Adding to this challenge is that the roll-feed runs continuously for hours, at high feed rates, and with limited human inspection. Again, SurfaceFlow was up to the job. OneBoxVision developed a suite of tools that perform both perforation and seam analysis while checking for the presence of defects. Simple but effective, the second vision system is made up of a single camera coupled with a BitFlow Axion CL 2xE frame grabber installed on the bag line.

The BitFlow Axion-CL is the most powerful CL frame grabber BitFlow has ever manufactured, featuring a StreamSync Direct Memory Access (DMA) engine and buffer manager to prevent overloading of the CPU with image transfer operations, along with a PCIe Gen 2 expansion bus to deliver high-speed access to host memory.

BitFlow Partners with One Box Vision to Develop Cost-Effective PackFlow™ Packaging Inspection Bundle

WOBURN, MA, SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 — BitFlow has partnered with engineering firm One Box Vision in developing the PackFlow 100% print inspection bundle that improves the way the packaging industry inspects materials printed on high-speed web presses.

Comparable in performance with vision systems costing thousands of dollars more, the PackFlow bundle features all the key components needed for a print machine manufacturer or system integrator to profit from a state-of-the-art vision system: line-scan cameras, BitFlow Axion-CL 2xE frame grabbers, software and LED illuminator. PackFlow installation optimizes a press’s return on investment by performing quality checks at the full speed of the production line.

PackFlow is the first complete bundle that enables a vision inspection system to be installed on a new or in-operation printing press using standard hardware. In the past, a system integrator would use proprietary hardware that required custom coding based on machine vision libraries that typically fail when running at the high data rates associated with 100% print inspection. PackFlow eliminates that costly barrier so that packaging customers can focus CapEx resources on innovation and achieving business objectives.

Contributing to PackFlow’s success is the BitFlow Axion-CL 2xE frame grabber based on the Camera Link (CL) 2.0 specification. Even though the CL specification has been around a long time, it is still one of the simplest, most efficient, and least expensive ways to get high-volume camera data into a computer. CL also benefits from the hundreds of thousands of pieces of CL equipment sold worldwide. The BitFlow Axion-CL is the most powerful CL frame grabber BitFlow has ever manufactured, featuring a StreamSync Direct Memory Access (DMA) engine and buffer manager to prevent overloading of the CPU with image transfer operations, along with a PCIe Gen 2 expansion bus to deliver high-speed access to host memory. It supports Base, Medium, Full or 80-Bit mode Camera Link area and line scan, color and monochrome cameras with PoCL capabilities.

PACKFLOW IN ACTION
Printing is a material-intensive and relatively low-margin industry. Printers are under continuous pressure to boost productivity and improve output quality while at the same time reducing production costs. Even a small reduction in waste levels can have a significant impact on the printer’s profitability.

This was the case for a major US packaging supplier that recently approached One Box Vision with a challenge. Its older Flexo and RotaGravure printing presses were equipped with vision components that suppliers would no longer support because they deemed them obsolete. Two key performance indicators — inspection quality and production uptime — had slipped to critical levels, requiring a new inspection solution.

Following an equipment survey, One Box Vision recommended its PackFlow 100% print inspection bundle for the older presses, powered in part by BitFlow frame grabbers. Operations immediately benefited from more accurate monitoring of stretched films, real-time job control, and higher resolution displays of register and ink lay down. Equally important, PackFlow was deployed at only 50% of the cost of purchasing replacement components from the previous suppliers, allowing the customer to invest savings on employee training to ensure the refurbished presses were utilized to their full potential.

For more information, please call 781-932-2900 or request more information.

About One Box Vision
One Box Vision develops and licenses automated machine vision solutions for manufacturing, and has developed a broad portfolio of packages for web and sheet inspection. We work with system integration companies, original equipment manufacturers and corporate engineering teams to design and implement advanced inspection and metro-logy solutions. Our key clients operate in the US, Brazil,UK, Germany India and South East Asia. Feel free to contact One Box Vision at www.oneboxvision.com

Vision 2018, Stuttgart, Germany, November 6-8, 2018

BitFlow recently exhibited at Vision in Stuttgart, Germany.

Our latest released CoaXPress frame grabber, the Claxon, was on display.  The Claxon, which can run at up to 12.5 Gb/S, is our CXP-12 frame grabber which will be available in Q2 2019.

A demo showcasing our Cyton CXP4 with 4 single channel CXP cameras was on display.  These cameras were focused in on our Aon-CXP, single link frame grabber.  Cameras on display included ISVI, CIS, Adimec and Sentech.

The Cyton CXP HALCON demo was front and center catching the attention of many attendees.

Located in Hall 1 Aisle A we had a prime location for lots of booth traffic.

If you attended the show and did not get a chance to stop by our booth, please visit us online, submit an inquiry or give us a call at 781-932-2900.

BitFlow at CRAV in Santa Clara, CA 2018

BitFlow recently exhibited at the AIA CRAV conference at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, California.

Cameras from ISVI, CIS, Adimec and Sentech were used in a demo highlighting our Cyton-CXP4.

Our BitBoxAxion-CLAon-CXPand Cyton CXP4 were all on display.

If you attended the show and did not have a chance to stop by tabletop #3, please visit us online, submit an inquiry or give us a call at 781-932-2900.

BitFlow in Boston, MA 2018

BitFlow recently exhibited at the Vision Show Boston at the Hynes Convention Center.

We had a great location at the entrance to the show.

Our Cyton CXP and HALCON demo caught the attention of many show attendees.

A CoaXPress camera demo highlighting our Aon-CXP and Cyton CXP4 was on display along with a sequence capture demo.  Cameras from JAI, IO Industries and Sentech were included in these demos.

Our Neon CLQ, Aon-CXPAxion 1xE and Cyton CXP4 frame grabbers were all on display.

The show was well attended and there was a lot of traffic at our booth.

If you attended the show and did not have a chance to stop by our booth, please visit us online, submit an inquiry or give us a call at 781-932-2900.

BitFlow in Anaheim, CA

BitFlow recently exhibited at the SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing Show in Anaheim, California.

12 MP cameras from JAI and Adimec were included in a demo highlighting our Cyton CXP4.  Our BitBox, Axion 2xE and Cyton CXP4 were all on display.

Our newly released Aon-CXP was on display with a Vieworks camera.

If you attended the show and did not get a chance to speak with us at our booth, please visit us online, submit an inquiry or give us a call at 781-932-2900.

Automation World, Seoul, South Korea, March 29-31, 2017

BitFlow is exhibiting this week at Automation World at the Coex Korea Exhibition Center in Seoul.  Our newly released single link CoaXPress frame grabber, the Aon-CXP is on display along with our Neon CLB, Neon CLQ, Axion 2xE, Cyton CXP2 and BitBox.  12 MP cameras from JAI and Adimec are included in a demo with the BitBox and our Cyton CXP4 highlighting CoaXPress and the BitBox capabilities.

Come see us at Booth S136!

BitFlow in Stuttgart, Germany

BitFlow recently exhibited at the Vision 2016 show in Stuttgart, Germany.

The newly released BitBox, an IO Box with high speed serial communication to the frame grabber, was on display alongside the CoaXPress splitter and the Aon.  The Aon is a low cost, single link CXP frame grabber that was designed similar to the Cyton-CXP family.  The CoaXPress splitter can take a CoaXPress signal from a camera and send it to up to four different systems for processing and/or display.

Also on display was a demonstration of GPU interfacing technology showcasing the capabilities of the frame grabber’s interactions with GPUDirect and DirectGMA.

Components Express, Inc. showcased our Cyton-CXP4 with one of their CoaXPress cables in their booth.

Our distributor, Cosyco, highlighted our Cyton-CXP and the Neon-CLQ in their booth.

If you attended the show and did not get a chance to speak with us at our booth, please visit us online, submit an inquiry or give us a call at 781-932-2900.