DWFritz’s Automated Seal Inspection Sysytems Improve the Inspection Process

A medical manufacturer approached DWFritz to help improve its inspection process. 
Sterility breaches in packages were occurring in its production line and human inspectors were not picking all of them up. Some of the seal defects in packages were occurring on the micron level. The customer wanted to solve these problems and enhance its quality assurance process.

DWFritz worked intimately with the customer over the course of many months to pioneer an automated seal inspection system that inspects package seals on a manufacturing line down to microns and milliseconds, far exceeding what human eyes can see. This helped the customer inspect seal defects with a higher level of confidence than ever before. 

Figure 1: Automated Seal Inspection (ASI) System

The Automated Seal Inspection (ASI) System ensures that products remain intact throughout the supply chain. The DWFritz team designed ASI to detect hair, foreign particles, voids, weaknesses, and other defects in package seals that have, until now, previously been inspected by humans. 

ASI inspects all sides of the seal as it:

  • draws in the packages on an automated conveyor;
  • picks up packages using a specially designed vacuum chuck that can pick up even porous materials; 
  • scans the packages over several rows of cameras using a highly specialized lighting technique called disruptive total internal reflection;
  • uses its processing capabilities to inspect all sides of the sealed package and then commands sorting of the packages onto a pass or a fail process;
  • sees defects down to the 50 micron level and inspects 100% of the packages on a manufacturing line.

Upon completion and installation of the automated seal inspection systems, the medical manufacturer commented: “It takes energy and inquisitive minds to question the status quo and imagine new ways of doing things. This project is an excellent example of how we can leverage new technology innovations to solve old problems in new ways.” ​