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Beckhoff > Case Studies > Fully Automated Visual Inspection System
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Fully Automated Visual Inspection System

Technology Category
  • Automation & Control - Automation & Process Control Systems
Applicable Industries
  • Equipment & Machinery
Applicable Functions
  • Discrete Manufacturing
Use Cases
  • Manufacturing System Automation
The Challenge

Tofflon has developed a fully automatic machine that uses light to inspect vials, medicine bottles, or infusion containers for glass fragments, aluminum particles, rubber grains, hairs, fibers, or other contaminants. It also detects damaged containers with cracks or inclusions (microscopic imperfections), automatically removing faulty or contaminated products. In order to cover all production processes for freeze-dried pharmaceuticals, Tofflon needed to create an open, consistent, and module-based automation concept.

About The Customer
Tofflon is world's largest manufacturer of Freezer Dryers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
The Customer
The Solution

A Beckhoff Embedded PC running TwinCAT automation software controls the advanced inspection process. Tofflon runs its fully automatic inspection system with a PC leveraging EtherCAT as the fieldbus system, a variety of terminals, and TwinCAT software as the integrated PLC and Motion Control platform.

Data Collected
Contamination Level, Fault Detection, Fill Levels Of Containers
Operational Impact
  • [Management Effectiveness - Real Time Information]
    TwinCAT automation software enables control cycles in the microsecond range.
  • [Data Management - Data Collection]
    The automation platform enabled the open, consistent, and module-based automation concept that is required for a scalable solution.
Quantitative Benefit
  • The EtherCAT-based control platform allows synchronization performance far below 100 microseconds, enabling new process improvement opportunities.

  • Compared with the manual inspection of pharmaceutical containers, automatic visual system delivers quality improvements, detecting 100% of contaminants.

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