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PackFlow

BitFlow has partnered with engineering firm One Box Vision in developing the PackFlow 100% print inspection bundle that improves the way the packaging industry inspects materials printed on high-speed web presses.

Comparable in performance with vision systems costing thousands of dollars more, the PackFlow bundle features all the key components needed for a print machine manufacturer or system integrator to profit from a state-of-the-art vision system: line-scan cameras, BitFlow Axion-CL 2xE frame grabbers, software and LED illuminator. PackFlow installation optimizes a press's return on investment by performing quality checks at the full speed of the production line. 

PackFlow is the first complete bundle that enables a vision inspection system to be installed on a new or in-operation printing press using standard hardware. In the past, a system integrator would use proprietary hardware that required custom coding based on machine vision libraries that typically fail when running at the high data rates associated with 100% print inspection. PackFlow eliminates that costly barrier so that packaging customers can focus CapEx resources on innovation and achieving business objectives.

Contributing to PackFlow's success is the BitFlow Axion-CL 2xE frame grabber based on the Camera Link (CL) 2.0 specification. Even though the CL specification has been around a long time, it is still one of the simplest, most efficient, and least expensive ways to get high-volume camera data into a computer. CL also benefits from the hundreds of thousands of pieces of CL equipment sold worldwide. The BitFlow Axion-CL is the most powerful CL frame grabber BitFlow has ever manufactured, featuring a StreamSync Direct Memory Access (DMA) engine and buffer manager to prevent overloading of the CPU with image transfer operations, along with a PCIe Gen 2 expansion bus to deliver high-speed access to host memory. It supports Base, Medium, Full or 80-Bit mode Camera Link area and line scan, color and monochrome cameras with PoCL capabilities.

PackFlow in action

Printing is a material-intensive and relatively low-margin industry. Printers are under continuous pressure to boost productivity and improve output quality while at the same time reducing production costs. Even a small reduction in waste levels can have a significant impact on the printer's profitability. 

This was the case for a major US packaging supplier that recently approached One Box Vision with a challenge. Its older Flexo and RotaGravure printing presses were equipped with vision components that suppliers would no longer support because they deemed them obsolete. Two key performance indicators -- inspection quality and production uptime -- had slipped to critical levels, requiring a new inspection solution.

Following an equipment survey, One Box Vision recommended its PackFlow 100% print inspection bundle for the older presses, powered in part by BitFlow frame grabbers. Operations immediately benefited from more accurate monitoring of stretched films, real-time job control, and higher resolution displays of register and ink lay down. Equally important, PackFlow was deployed at only 50% of the cost of purchasing replacement components from the previous suppliers, allowing the customer to invest savings on employee training to ensure the refurbished presses were utilized to their full potential.

Labels: BitFlow,One Box Vision,frame grabber,packaging,inspection

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