Milchwerke Berchtesgadener Land Chiemgau eG in Piding fills each of its 16 different fruit yogurt varieties in its own cups and lids. To ensure that there is never a “wrong” filling, cup or tray – to avoid recalls – the company is the first in Germany to use the camera-based control system “BBull Tray Inspection”.
Each fruit yogurt with variety cup and lid
Four types of fruit are filled simultaneously on the filling line, up to 21,000 cups per hour – too much for manual inspection. “It must be ensured that 100 percent of the time the right fruit is sealed in the right cup with the correct sinker. The main issue is the “problem” of allergies, and this applies very specifically to our hazelnut yogurt, which is now being added to the range with variety cups,” explains Florian Lexhaller, the Technical Manager. Martin Hirschhalmer, head of the sour milk production department, adds: “We change over the four varieties five or six times a day. On the one hand, the cup stacks received from the packaging supplier can always contain the wrong cups, and the operating personnel who insert cups and blanks can make a mistake during the daily routine. We now have this inspection machine from BBull so that we can rule this out in the finished yogurts,” says Hirschhalmer.
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Two cameras for the buckets, three for the boards
BBull Technology installed two high-performance cameras at the cups, each monitoring four stacks of cups and recognizing the varieties via a special color marking on the cup. If the system notices an incorrect cup in the stack, the machine stops immediately and the error is shown on the color display – even before the wrong cup has been filled. If an error occurs during insertion of the blanks, the operator no longer sees this after insertion because the blanks are stuck upside down in the magazine. To detect the error anyway, before the trays are on their way to palletizing, BBull installed three more high-resolution color cameras. Each tray is captured in razor-sharp detail and each individual yogurt cup is inspected: is there a blank on each cup at all, does each blank match the filled variety 100 percent, and was the blank applied cleanly. “The system also checks the BBD – whether it is present, but also whether it is complete, clearly legible and correct in terms of content,” praises Lexhaller, the technical manager.
Each error is ejected
If the system detects an error, the tray is ejected, the error is shown on the display and the operator can manually exchange the corresponding tray. If five trays in succession show errors, the machine stops automatically, because then either blanks have been inserted incorrectly or the MHD inkjet printer is working incorrectly. “In this way, we detect irregularities very quickly and not many trays later or even on the finished pallet,” says Martin Hirschhalmer.