Vision Inspection Systems

OPTIMAL’S LEADING EDGE VISION INSPECTION SYSTEMS ENABLE MEDICAL DEVICE MANUFACTURERS TO GET AHEAD IN A COMPETITIVE MARKET


Optimal Industrial Automation is helping volume manufacturers of medical devices to meet increasing competitive pressures, with state-of-the-art vision inspection systems that optimise production efficiency in highly regulated production environments.

With its ability to look inside the production process, Optimal is able to undertake a process of continuous inspection, using specialist optical vision equipment to inspect product features and identifiers, to verify critical-to-product attributes in real time.

Optimal has successfully completed multiple medical device inspection projects including needle inspection, injection moulded device inspection, print on device inspection and diagnostic strip critical parameter and dimension inspection.

For example, a needle inspection project was for the high speed examination and checking of critical dimensions, including the detailed measurement of the needle facets. For this a PC based Cognex VisionPro vision system was used, this in turn interfacing to a 21 CFR Part 11 compliant front-end software package. The system provides real time information and process improvement data to the operators to enable the optimisation of the process.

A second example was for the inspection of critical dimensions, features and the correct assembly of a multi component plastic medical device. Multiple inspections were required down the assembly line, and for this project multiple Cognex In-Sight vision systems were used, these, in turn, interfacing to synTI® – Optimal’s regulatory compliant operator interface ‘front end’ for vision inspection projects. With its ability to interconnect to a complete range of inspection and printing devices, synTI® offers the facility to configure a complete line inspection system to check virtually any parameter including bar codes, 2D codes, OCV, OCR, vignettes, physical dimensions, misshapes or serialised codes.

This inspection system measures critical dimensions, checks for the presence and alignment of critical parts of the moulding, checks for correct printing on the moulding and verifies that the assembly machine has located the components in the device correctly.

The system also provides real time feedback to the machine to enable the rejection of faulty items, this minimising waste by preventing continued additions to an already scrap component and providing real time process improvement data to the machine’s operators.

Commenting upon Optimal’s successes in the Medical Device sector, Optimal Director, Martin Gadsby, said that: “In volume manufacturing of medical devices, the pressures from competition are ever present. Moreover, with devices used in critical healthcare, unique, often contradictory, demands are imposed on manufacturers: namely, optimised process efficiency in a highly regulated environment. Optimal has proved, with its combination of automation, vision and software products, that it has the tools and experience to tackle these ever present issues and provide the best solution from design to validation, and not one tied to any one equipment provider.”