Bottle Inspection Patents (Class 382/142)
  • Publication number: 20040190765
    Abstract: A device for use with conveyor means and a detector station, said conveyor means for moving empty beverage containers, suitably bottles of different shapes and sizes, past the detector station, and said detector station for providing characteristic data about the containers, and means which based on such data are capable of determining how the containers are to be handled subsequent to detection.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 25, 2004
    Publication date: September 30, 2004
    Applicant: TOMRA SYSTEMS ASA
    Inventors: Per Kare Tvinnereim, Tom Steidel, Geir Hanevold
  • Publication number: 20040184651
    Abstract: A method of handling an empty beverage container having opposed first and second ends of different properties, the container having an axis extending between the first and second ends, said first end defined as a bottom end of the container and said second end defined as a mouth region of the container, the method comprising the step of moving the container, from a return vending machine inlet, in a direction towards an outlet thereof. Through use of the method there is detected by means of a video camera the container when moved in a lying posture into or past a detection zone of the video camera and the manner by which the container is inserted at said inlet. Further, there is determined whether the container is moved into the detection zone with its first end first or with its second end first. If the container is delivered into the detection zone with its first end first, the container is transported to said outlet.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 25, 2004
    Publication date: September 23, 2004
    Applicant: TOMRA SYSTEMS ASA
    Inventors: Andreas Nordbryhn, Tom Steidel, Lennart Flem
  • Publication number: 20040179725
    Abstract: A method and a device for detecting containers, e.g. bottles of glass or plastics, or cans made of metal, wood, glass or plastics, which for recycling of materials thereof or reuse thereof are moved in a lying posture and with their axis parallel to direction of transport into or past a detection zone associated with a detector station containing a video camera, a video image analysis of the container being carried out by a video image analyser, and said detector station having an entrance and an exit. There is analysed a sequence of video images of the container whilst it is moved into or past the detection zone of the video camera, and it is determined position and movement of the container in a viewing region of the video camera on the basis of continuous detection of position and movement of the container in the video image.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 25, 2004
    Publication date: September 16, 2004
    Applicant: TOMRA SYSTEMS ASA
    Inventors: Andreas Nordbryhn, Tom Steidel, Lennart Flem
  • Patent number: 6782122
    Abstract: This disclosure is directed to apparatus for measuring height of a surface of liquid in a container utilizing a light source and camera pair disposed above the liquid surface in a predetermined spatial relationship to each other and the container. The light source illuminates the liquid surface with a light pattern and the camera captures the area image of the light pattern in a form of discrete picture elements (pixels) that are processed in an image processor to determine the height of liquid in the container. In another embodiment, the pixels of the area image are further processed to determine attitude of the liquid surface so that the processor may determine the quantity of liquid in the container based on the determined height and attitude of the liquid surface and container geometry data stored in a memory thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2004
    Assignee: Simmonds Precision Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Bruce R. Kline, Mokhtar M. Sadok, William B. Spillman, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6757420
    Abstract: The invention is concerned with the problem of providing an automatic inspection device, with which it is possible to determine, with little effort and without contact, whether packages, particularly sealed blister packages consisting of a blister container and a cover film, are free of defects. This problem is solved by the use of at least two light sources, which are arranged at a certain distance from one another and each emit a light bundle at a predetermined wavelength range, whereby the emission maxima of the two light sources are offset in relation to one another. The light sources are arranged such that the packages are vertically illuminated. The light reflected by the packages is recorded by a CCD camera and the digital images are stored in a computer, so that they are available in a computer-supported image-processing and documentation system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Assignee: Novartis AG
    Inventors: Andreas Krahn, Jürgen Saedler, Jan Schlegel, Anette Therese Lang-Schöll, Egbert Jux
  • Patent number: 6732921
    Abstract: In the system for managing a large number of reusable multi-trip receptacles each of which is marked by a code in an identifiable manner, the multi-trip receptacles are used in a number of cycles in several local stations (20, 21, 22) separated from each other and the code is read at each cycle. Data which have been recorded in the local stations. (20, 21, 22) for the individual multi-trip receptacles are stored allocated to the read code in a central station (10), and are evaluated to establish the number of cycles or uses of each multi-trip receptacle. The age and number of uses of each multi-trip receptacle is established using the data stored in the central station (10) and when a certain age or a certain number of cycles is reached, the local stations (20, 21, 22) are informed that the relevant multi-trip receptacle is no longer to be used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Assignee: Heuft Systemtechnik GmbH
    Inventors: Bernhard Heuft, Friedrich Wehren
  • Patent number: 6661911
    Abstract: An automatic inspecting apparatus has a function for generating a discharge signal for discharging a defective object at a predetermined position. The automatic inspecting apparatus comprises an imaging device for imaging a moving object, a sensor for detecting the arrival of the object, an image processing unit for processing images produced by the imaging device to detect defective objects, and a discharge signal generating unit for discharging defective objects at a predetermined position. An ID number is assigned to each image produced by the imaging device, and pulses generated by an encoder start to be counted when each ID number is assigned. If the object is determined to be defective after image processing by the image processing unit, the discharge signal generating unit generates a discharge signal when the number of pulses counted for the corresponding ID number reaches a pulse number equivalent to the distance between the sensor position and the discharge position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2003
    Assignee: Kirin Techno-System Corporation
    Inventors: Tohru Ishikura, Hiroyuki Fukuchi, Yasuo Miwa, Takanori Hatsuki
  • Patent number: 6636625
    Abstract: An optical member inspection apparatus includes an inspection optical system having a light source, and a diffusing means for diffusing the light emitted from the light source. The diffusing means has a central portion and a peripheral portion. The diffusion transmittance of the peripheral portion is higher than the diffusion transmittance of the central portion. The inspection optical system is also provided with an image pick-up means to pick-up an image of the optical member to be inspected, and is positioned so as to receive that light emitted from the light source and transmitted through the diffusing means and the optical member. A judging means is also provided, for judging whether or not the optical member has a defect, in accordance with image signals output from the image pick-up means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2003
    Assignee: Asahi Kogaku Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Toshihiro Nakayama, Masato Hara, Masayuki Sugiura, Atsushi Kida
  • Publication number: 20030194123
    Abstract: To test the reliability of a testing apparatus which tests a large number of objects of the same type for one feature, generates a feature signal for each object and checks the feature signal for fulfilment of a first condition, a test object is conducted to the testing apparatus after a number of objects and the feature signal of the test object is checked for the fulfilment of a second condition. The second condition is that the feature signal of the test object corresponds to a previously entered reference value. The reference value can be entered by storing the feature signal of a test object as a reference value.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 23, 2003
    Publication date: October 16, 2003
    Inventor: Bernhard Heuft
  • Patent number: 6618495
    Abstract: A machine is disclosed for inspecting the wall of a bottle which is delivered by a conveyor sequentially to an inspection station. A light source defined as spatially cyclically continuously varying between the extremes of dark and light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Assignee: Emhart Glass, S.A.
    Inventor: William J. Furnas
  • Patent number: 6597804
    Abstract: To test the reliability of a testing apparatus which checks multiple objects of the same type for one set feature, generates a feature signal for each object and checks the feature signal with respect to fulfillment of one first set condition, a test object is inserted in the testing apparatus after multiple objects and the feature signal of the test object is checked with respect to the fulfillment of a second condition, the second condition being a feature signal of the test object which corresponds to a previously inputted reference value. The reference value can be inputted by storing the feature signal of a test object as reference value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2003
    Assignee: Heuft Systemtechnik GmbH
    Inventor: Bernhard Heuft
  • Patent number: 6525333
    Abstract: A system and method of the present invention allows the inspection of an object having an annular opening, such as a container or can, and uses a plurality of cameras that acquire grayscale images of arcuate sectors that together comprise a circumferential area within the opening. A processor is connected to the plurality of cameras for receiving the grayscale images and determining defects within the container based on contrast differences and grayscale intensity. The invention allows smart analysis of defects using qualitative inspections and quantitative measurements at higher speeds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2003
    Assignee: Intelligent Machine Concepts, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Jeff Hooker, Timothy Hebert
  • Publication number: 20030012421
    Abstract: This invention concerns an inspection device and a method of checking on correct functioning of the inspection process of containers such as bottles, cans or the like, where a container to be inspected is detected optically at least in part and the image data thus detected is analyzed with an analysis program to detect defective containers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 27, 2002
    Publication date: January 16, 2003
    Inventor: Lothar Werzinger
  • Patent number: 6483936
    Abstract: A monitor pattern for photolithography according to the invention includes a concave quadrangular sub-pattern and a scale sub-pattern. The concave quadrangular sub-pattern has a pair of equal exterior sides, a pair of equal interior sides and a right angle included between the pair of equal exterior sides and is bisected into a horizontal region and a vertical region congruent with each other along a bisector of the right angle. The scale sub-pattern is located along the pair of equal exterior sides for measuring the resolutions of the concave quadrangular sub-patterns transferred. Furthermore, a monitor pattern according to the invention can includes two symmetric concave quadrangular sub-patterns and two symmetric scale sub-patterns for the purpose of further determining whether resolution are affected by leveling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2002
    Assignee: United Microelectronics Corp.
    Inventor: Zhi-Xian Huang
  • Publication number: 20020154809
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method and an apparatus for imaging a liquid-filling container in which a light emitting unit (2) is provided for emitting and irradiating light onto the container (B) and a light receiving unit (3) is provided for receiving the light transmitted through the container. The object of the present invention is to provide such a method and an apparatus for imaging a liquid-filling container which method and apparatus assure reliable detection of the surface of liquid filled in a container or of foreign substance mixed in the liquid or present in the container or the container material not only when the container is transparent, but also when the container is a colored container of a dark color such as black, dark green or dark brown or the container has a frosted surface or when the liquid filled in the container has a dark color.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 2, 2002
    Publication date: October 24, 2002
    Inventors: Takahiro Yamagishi, Shigeki Tamura
  • Patent number: 6466691
    Abstract: To test the reliability of a testing apparatus which tests a large number of objects of the same type for one feature by generating a feature signal for each object and checking the feature signal for fulfilment of a first condition, a test signal is derived from the feature signals of several objects and the test signal is checked for fulfilment of a second condition. When checking if the test signal fulfils the second condition, the test signal can be compared with a reference value. The test signal can be the average of the feature signals of several objects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2002
    Assignee: Heuft Systemetechnik GmbH
    Inventor: Bernhard Heuft
  • Patent number: 6275603
    Abstract: This invention provides a method and apparatus (100) for detecting small glass particles (12) in bottles (1) filled with beer (10). The beer (10) is caused to rotate with respect to the bottle (1), and successive images are obtained from the bottle by means of a CCD-camera (40) which is arranged such that its optical axis (41) makes an angle &agr; of about 135° with the axis (13) of the bottle (1), which is illuminated from below. The successive images are subtracted from each other to detect refracted light emanating from glass particles. These measurements are repeated a plurality of times. The invention thus offers an improvement in sensitivity and reliability of a detecting method. An apparatus (100) comprises a carousel (103) with a plurality of cameras dedicated to a single bottle. A system is described to reduce costs by having eight cameras share one image processing unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Assignee: Heineken Technical Services B.V.
    Inventors: Anthony James Cronshaw, Christopher James Hodges, Mark Robson Humphries, David Livingstone, Stephen Peter Woodall, Bernardus Cornelis Johannes Landman
  • Publication number: 20010004401
    Abstract: The article, for example a glass bottle, may exhibit at least one feature, in particular a defect, visible from outside the article, from among features of different types T1, . . . , Ti, . . . , Tn. In this process, acquisition of a digital image of the article is carried out, this image is processed so as to extract therefrom a region corresponding to this visible feature, the type of the visible feature is identified from among the various types Tl by calculating at least one discriminating parameter P1, . . . , Pj, . . . Pn characterizing the region, and the type of the feature is used to decide whether the quality of the article is adequate or inadequate. As appropriate, a reference parameter PR characterizing the region is calculated, this reference parameter PR is compared with a threshold parameter dependent on the type of the visible feature, and the result of this comparison is used to decide whether the quality of the article is adequate or inadequate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 13, 2000
    Publication date: June 21, 2001
    Inventors: Philippe Dubois, Fabrice Gibrat
  • Patent number: 6249602
    Abstract: An efficient and reliable method and apparatus is disclosed that finds a reference point of an object profile within an image when the object is of an unknown size. The object profile is modeled using a synthetic labeled-projection model, which in conjunction with the image, is projected over a portion of the image of the object profile to derive a histogram. The histogram is normalized and a maximum of a first derivative of the histogram is defined for that position. The position of the labeled-projection model is moved relative to the image, and the process is repeated until a selected portion of the image has been examined. The first derivative of the normalized labeled projection is greatest when a feature of the image and the feature denoted by a specific synthetic label of the labeled-projection model are aligned. The method and apparatus can locate the center of the object with reliability, because use of the labeled-projection model and the histogram minimizes the * effects of image artifacts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2001
    Assignee: Cognex Corporation
    Inventors: David J. Michael, Juha Koljonen, Paul Dutta-Choudhury
  • Patent number: 6226081
    Abstract: The height-of-fill of a container comprising a body having an optically detectable feature, and contents filling the body up to a fill level, at least a measuring portion of the container extending from the optically detectable feature to the fill level being capable of transmitting electromagnetic radiation, is determined by illuminating at least the measuring portion of the container with electromagnetic radiation; forming an image of part of this measuring portion of the container; and analyzing the image by data processing means to identify: (a) a first region having a first intensity that varies in accordance with the properties of the optically detectable feature; and (b) a second region having a second intensity that varies in accordance with the optical properties of the contents below the fill level, and determining the distance between a point within the first region and the upper edge of the second region, thereby determining the height-of-fill.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2001
    Assignee: Optikos Corporation
    Inventors: Stephen D. Fantone, Brian W. Anthony, Kevin M. Sevigny, Stephen R. Wilk
  • Patent number: 6154274
    Abstract: A system for inspecting ophthalmic lenses and including transport, illumination, imaging and image processing subsystems. The transport system moves a multitude of ophthalmic lenses along a predetermined path to move each of those lenses, one at a time, into a lens inspection position, and the illumination subsystem generates a series of light pulses and directs a respective one light pulse through each ophthalmic lens. The imaging subsystem generates a set of signals representing selected portions of the light pulses transmitted through the ophthalmic lenses, and the image processing subsystem receives those signals from the imaging subsystem and processes those signals according to a predetermined program to identify at least one condition of each of the lenses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2000
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Vision Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas G. Davis, Joseph Wilder, David Dreyfuss
  • Patent number: 6137900
    Abstract: In a reverse vending apparatus for detecting containers, e.g., bottles of glass or plastic, or packaging made of metal, wood, glass or plastic which for the recycling of materials or reuse of the container are inserted in the machine and conveyed past a detector station containing a video camera, a video image analyser (125, 130) is connected to the video camera in order to analyse the video image whilst the container (B) is conveyed in lying position and with its axis parallel to the direction of transport past the video camera (109). The video analyser (125) contains a calculator component (130) for determining, when the container moves into the video image, whether the container enters the detection zone (video image) mouth (B1) (e.g., top portion or neck of bottle) (FIG. 3b) first or bottom (B2) (FIG.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2000
    Assignee: Tomra Systems Asa
    Inventors: Tom Steidel, Andreas Nordbryhn, Lennart Flem
  • Patent number: 6134343
    Abstract: A method and system detect for the presence of a defect or a non-conforming object of unknown shape, configuration, and location within a semi-opaque enclosure. The semi-opaque enclosure has a pattern which is visible on at least a first of its external surfaces. The semi-opaque enclosure may comprise, for example, a labeled plastic or glass bottle, and the visible pattern may be print and graphical information provided on the bottle's label. A first digital image is captured from first channel light reflected off the first external surface of the enclosure; and a second digital image is captured from second channel light navigating the object inside the enclosure and emanating from the first external surface of the enclosure. A difference image is formed substantially devoid of information representing the visible pattern on the first external surface, by subtracting one of the first and second digital images from the other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Assignee: Cognex Corporation
    Inventor: Sanjay Nichani
  • Patent number: 6122048
    Abstract: A video inspection system is provided wherein light from a light source is directed through a field lens. The field lens directs the incident light first in the direction of an object under inspection and then, after reflecting from said object, redirecting the reflected light toward the aperture of an imaging lens/camera assembly. This redirection technique results in magnification of selected regions of the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2000
    Assignee: Pressco Technology Inc.
    Inventors: Don W. Cochran, Steve Cech, Terry L. Graves, Howard Fein
  • Patent number: 6089108
    Abstract: A bottle inspection apparatus and method are disclosed in which an improved housing contains an imaging device which is focused at a target area through an unobstructed window opening formed in a wall of the housing. The housing includes a sleeve member which may be attached to the housing in the vicinity of the unobstructed window opening and which may be positioned in close proximity to the imaging device, thus creating a restricted air path between the sleeve member and the imaging device which restricts the flow of cooling air exiting the housing. The imaging device may be mounted on a slide mount system such that it is adjustably moveable toward and away from the sleeve in order to adjustably control the amount of air restriction imposed and, thus, adjustably control the rate at which cooling air exits the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Assignee: Coors Brewing Company
    Inventor: Philip J. Lucas
  • Patent number: 6049379
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for detecting flaws in translucent objects. An image generating device is used to form an image of the object. A target area and a control area of the image are then compared to determine the relative brightness of each. If the relative brightness is not within an acceptable range, then this indicates that a defect exists in the target area and the object may be rejected. The acceptable range may be determined by performing the above method on an object known to be non-defective, thus producing a relative brightness between the target and control areas which is indicative of a non-defective condition. Also disclosed is a method for detecting flaws in translucent objects in which two images of the object are obtained from differing perspectives. The two images are then compared pixel by pixel to determine if any variation in image brightness exists between the two images.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2000
    Assignee: Coors Brewing Company
    Inventor: Philip J. Lucas
  • Patent number: 6028302
    Abstract: An optoelectronic system for reading reliefs, such as a mould number, on a transparent container. The optoelectronic system associates a light source and a reception system, the light source illuminating the entire periphery of part of the body of the container and the reception system being capable of reproducing a complete image of the periphery of that part of the body of the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2000
    Assignee: Saint-Gobain Cinematique et Controle
    Inventors: Jean-Charles Wiejak, Gilles Petitpas
  • Patent number: 6025910
    Abstract: A bottle inspection method is provided which is capable of compensating for random variations in the orientation and position of objects being inspected, such as glass bottles on a conveyor. The inspection device creates an image of the object and then analyzes the image to determine the amount of variation in orientation and position. The desired measurements are made from the image and then adjusted relative to the variation previously determined. Also provided is an improved housing for the imaging devices which eliminates the need for clear panels which are prone to dirtying.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2000
    Assignee: Coors Brewing Company
    Inventor: Philip John Lucas
  • Patent number: 5987159
    Abstract: A method and system detect for the presence of a defect or a non-conforming object of unknown shape, configuration, and location within a semi-opaque enclosure. The semi-opaque enclosure has a pattern which is visible on at least a first of its external surfaces. The semi-opaque enclosure may comprise, for example, a labeled plastic or glass bottle, and the visible pattern may be print and graphical information provided on the bottle's label. A first digital image is captured from first channel light reflected off the first external surface of the enclosure; and a second digital image is captured from second channel light navigating the object inside the enclosure and emanating from the first external surface of the enclosure. A difference image is formed substantially devoid of information representing the visible pattern on the first external surface, by subtracting one of the first and second digital images from the other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: Cognex Corporation
    Inventor: Sanjay Nichani
  • Patent number: 5935285
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for detecting the cycling of a manufacturing machine, such as a bottle manufacturing machine, without the need for a mechanical detection device. An imaging device, which may also be used to inspect products manufactured by the manufacturing machine, monitors a portion of the manufacturing machine in order to determine when the machine cycles. Also disclosed is a method for correlating a product being inspected to its point of origin, e.g., correlating a bottle to its mold cavity of origin in the case of a bottle manufacturing machine. The manufacturing machine cycle time is divided by the number of origin points, e.g., the number of bottle mold cavities in the case of a bottle manufacturing machine, to derive a product interval time. The arrival time of each product being inspected may then be divided by the product interval time in order to predict the point of origin from which the product originated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1999
    Assignee: Coors Brewing Company
    Inventor: Philip J. Lucas
  • Patent number: 5926556
    Abstract: Systems and methods of operation thereof for identifying containers handled by a container handling apparatus. Each container has a portion that includes one of a plurality of identifying patterns. A camera generates an image of at least the portion of the container including the identifying pattern wherein the image includes a pattern image corresponding to the identifying pattern. An image processor detects an optical characteristic of the image within a defined region of the image and detects the pattern image as a function of the detected characteristic. The defined region of the image includes the pattern image corresponding to the identifying pattern. The image processor determines the container's identifying pattern as a function of the pattern image detected by the image processor thereby to identify the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1999
    Assignee: Inex, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert J. Douglas, Bozidar Kosta, Coleman W. Gormley, Edward R. Krajcik, Philippe Spiteri
  • Patent number: 5845002
    Abstract: The topographic surface features of a translucent object, such as a citrus fruit with a peel, are scanned and evaluated to permit the classification thereof according to its surface features. In the case of citrus fruit, the coarseness or pebbliness, puff and crease, ridge and valley, cuts, punctures, scrapes and splits, clear rot or sour rot of the peel is optically identified through digital analysis of the pixel scans and sorted based upon the peel surface quality. The object is classified by separating the scanned image of the fruit from the background image and removing the background image. A statistical evaluation of the image of the object as a whole, including both hemispheres of the object, is made to determine if there is any surface feature variation which might qualify as a defect or be a suitable basis upon which a classification judgment can be made.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: Sunkist Growers, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard D. Heck, Henry A. Affeldt
  • Patent number: 5734467
    Abstract: A bottle inspection method is provided which is capable of compensating for random variations in the orientation and position of objects being inspected, such as glass bottles on a conveyor. The inspection device creates an image of the object and then analyzes the image to determine the amount of variation in orientation and position. The desired measurements are made from the image and then adjusted relative to the variation previously determined. Also provided is an improved housing for the imaging devices which eliminates the need for clear panels which are prone to dirtying.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 31, 1998
    Assignee: Coors Brewing Company
    Inventor: Philip John Lucas
  • Patent number: 5717781
    Abstract: Disclosed is an ophthalmic lens inspection method and apparatus comprising a camera to capture an image of an ophthalmic lens which has been illuminated by a light source. Location and intensity at each camera pixel is converted to an electrical quantity which is then transferred and stored in a memory. A computer containing instructions for comparing the intensity and location values of the pixels starts near the center of the receptor field and continues toward the edge of the field until an intensity deviation is encountered. By evaluating the pixels containing intensity variation, an outline of the lens edge is attained. An annulus is generated enclosing the actual lens edge. All the pixels are changed from an absolute intensity value to a gradient value, represented by two transition edges. Feature extraction is performed to locate defective pixels and place them into groups.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 10, 1998
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Vision Products, Inc.
    Inventors: James A. Ebel, Peter Sites
  • Patent number: 5717486
    Abstract: To detect damage in the bottom region of a plastic bottle a picture of the bottom region is taken by means of a camera. The resulting image is then tested for brightness pixel by pixel in a predetermined inspection area. Large deviations of the test curve from the average value are indicative of a damaged bottle. The process is meaningful, and it can be carried out on existing bottle inspection machines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 10, 1998
    Assignee: Elpatronic AG
    Inventors: Karl-Georg Burri, Petr Pavlik
  • Patent number: 5675416
    Abstract: A sorting system (10) propels a stream of randomly arranged PET and PVC articles (12, 14) through an inspection zone (20) including a first light polarizer/analyzer combination (24, 26), an article-detecting gap (G), and a second light polarizer/analyzer combination (28, 30). The first and second polarizer/analyzer combinations are oriented to extinguish normally incident light in the absence of articles in the inspection zone and are offset 45 degrees relative to each other such that at least one polarizer/analyzer combination detects a principal axis of birefringence of PET articles. The gap is employed to detect the presence of an article in the inspection zone. A video camera (22) includes first, second, and third CCD arrays (58, 60, 62) positioned to receive respective light rays (48, 64, 50) from the first light polarizer/analyzer combination, the gap, and the second light polarizer/analyzer combination and to generate first, second, and third video signals representative of the light each receives.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 7, 1997
    Assignee: SRC Vision, Inc.
    Inventors: Duncan B. Campbell, Carl D. Christy, H. Parks Squyres, Steven D. Lancaster
  • Patent number: 5661819
    Abstract: A corner area between the bottom and the side of a cylindrical container is set as a test area. An objective lens of a TV camera is mounted to form a predetermined angle with the central axis of the cylindrical container. An image is generated on the screen of an image processing device based on the image captured by the TV camera. One-dimensional position detection slits Ws1 through Ws3 normally cross the arc of the ring-shaped highlighted portion corresponding to the corner area at three points. The coordinates of the intersections P1 through P3 of the position detection slits and the highlighted portions are obtained. They are substituted in the circular equation to calculate the coordinate (.alpha., .beta.) of the center of the circle 0 having the intersections P1 through P3 on its circumference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 26, 1997
    Assignee: Fuji Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kouichi Toyama
  • Patent number: 5608815
    Abstract: An image testing device captures an image of a test object using a TV camera and raster-scans the image to search the test object for a scratch or spot. The device protects its test precision from being deteriorated by lowered brightness of an illuminator and properly maintains the illuminator by outputting an alarm on detecting a lowering of the illuminator. To realize the capabilities of the image testing device, it comprises a brightness measure circuit, a general determination circuit, etc. The brightness measure circuit receives a multivalued gray image signal or image data from the frame memory through a switching unit, obtains an average value of picture elements in a brightness measure area in a test object image, and outputs it as a measured brightness signal. The general determination circuit corrects, in proportion to a measured brightness a binarization threshold for use in detecting a picture element indicating a defect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 4, 1997
    Assignee: Fuji Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Koichi Toyama, Tatsuo Yamamura
  • Patent number: 5592286
    Abstract: The present invention provides a machine vision inspection system for inspecting the flanges of metal containers that can reliably detect flange defects as small as 0.010 to 0.012 inches. The inspection device comprises apparatus for producing an enlarged image of selected portions of the flange and apparatus for capturing and processing the image. The apparatus for producing the enlarged image includes an annular lens positioned between the flange and the producing apparatus. The invention also provides a method for inspecting a flange of an article, such as a can, for defects. The method comprises the steps of directing light onto the flange of the article from a light source, forming light rays reflected from the flange into a radially expanded image of the flange by positioning an annular lens to redirect reflected light rays into the radially expanded image, and providing apparatus for capturing and processing the image to inspect the flange for defects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 7, 1997
    Assignee: Alltrista Corporation
    Inventor: Richard L. Fedor
  • Patent number: 5585917
    Abstract: A method of and apparatus for determining whether kegs, which are to be cleaned and filled on a bottling plant production line, have physical distortions which may prevent cleaning and/or filling and/or emptying. The testing of the barrels is accomplished by capturing images of the ends and processing the data commensurate with the captured images to identify radial distortion. Axial distortion, which may accompany any radial distortion, is determined by measuring the distances between plural points on the keg and a reference plane to which the keg axis would, under normal conditions, be transverse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 17, 1996
    Assignee: GEA Till GmbH & Co.
    Inventors: Rainer Woite, Volker Till
  • Patent number: 5570431
    Abstract: Quantitative characterization of a crack detection analysis method is achieved by determining the detection sensitivity and background noise produced by the analysis method by suitably processing images obtained from one or more control specimens prepared by the method and subjected to appropriate and optimized conditions of illumination. In addition, the crack detection analysis method is optimized by looking for the parameters which influence the method and determining the value thereof which maximizes detection sensitivity and minimizes background noise.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 29, 1996
    Assignee: Societe Nationale d'Etude et de Construction de Moteurs d'Aviation "Snecma"
    Inventors: Herve, P. R. Gillard, Veronique H. M. P. Prejean-Lefevre
  • Patent number: 5553158
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a device for the data processing of linear images of generatrices of an article having an axis of revolution.The images being detected by a linear image detector having photosensitive points, the device has a memory (24) and a calculator (23) adapted to calculate, for each point of the linear image detector, data values of images coming from such point during a first processing period which corresponds to a complete revolution of the article and to store said average value in the memory (24).The device also has a memory (21) adapted to store all the image data coming from the linear image detector during the course of a complete revolution of the article and restore them during a second processing period after the first processing period.Finally, it comprises a threshold memory (26) which, for each point of the photosensitive detector, stores at least the threshold information.The invention applies to the inspection of bodies of revolution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1996
    Assignee: Est. Gilles Lerouz
    Inventor: Bachar Bittar
  • Patent number: 5542004
    Abstract: A method of analyzing the visually perceptible characteristics of foamable liquid, such as beer, comprises pouring a known quantity of the foamable liquid from a storage container into a clear beaker. A camera produces a video image of the beaker and its liquid and foam contents. A series of such image are periodically acquired over a definite time period. The images are electronically analyzed to derive numerical value indicating the different characteristics. A system for performing the method also is described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 30, 1996
    Assignee: Miller Brewing Company
    Inventors: Marc D. Constant, Albert T. Grzybowski, Farhad Moalem
  • Patent number: 5414777
    Abstract: According to the process, each returning bottle is examined for the presence of a predetermined level of fatigue damage. If this level has been reached, the bottle concerned is marked with a mark enabling further trips of the bottle to be counted. When the count has reached a predetermined value, that is when the bottle has undergone the predetermined number of fillings, the bottle is removed upon its next return. It has been found that the life of the bottle can be anticipated with high accuracy in this way, thus enabling bottles to be withdrawn from circulation before failure occurs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 9, 1995
    Assignee: Elpatronic AG
    Inventors: Felix van der Schaar, Daniel Wildmann
  • Patent number: 5414778
    Abstract: Fast image acquisition and image process control can be used to advantage to measure dynamic and transient phenomena. This technique can distinguish fluid from bubbles by modifying the image's gray levels. The technique is used for detecting fluid levels and bubbles, by counting image pixels dedicated to bubbles or to fluid along vertical or horizontal lines within the image. The rate of change of fluid level and the amount of bubbles with time indicate leakage in containers while they are in a dynamic state. The inspection of transient phenomena during a dynamic state gives an indication of the final quality and quantity of a product inside a container. It also provides a good feedback for the determination of fill nozzle operation, with the advantage of easy calibration and adjustment for the right amount of bubbles within the container. The application is highly beneficial in the beer and soft drink industry where the taste of the product is highly influenced by the amount of bubbles within the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 9, 1995
    Inventors: Nira Schwartz, Arie Shahar, Richard Woods