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Pleora Dairy Distillery

Pleora Technologies announced that Dairy Distillery, a spirits producer that combines artisanal distilling techniques with a scientific process to transform milk into vodka, is using its Visual Inspection System to help maintain brand quality standards and reduce errors that increase operating costs and slow production.

Dairy Distillery has pioneered a unique process that uses milk permeate, a byproduct left over after cream, fat, and proteins have been removed from whole milk for use in products such as butter, ice cream, and yogurt, to create a clean and pure spirit. Previously, milk permeate was considered a waste product that had to be disposed of at a cost to the farmer. Founded in 2018, the Almonte, Ontario based business now ships over 100,000 bottles of its flagship Vodkow Vodka and cream liquors to global customers. In 2020, the distillery became a major supplier of hand sanitizer to Ottawa hospitals and vaccination clinics as part of the fight against coronavirus.

Operating in a highly competitive market, brand appearance is a key factor in ensuring consumer shelf appeal. The distillery’s Vodkow bottle integrates machine-placed labels with a distinctive emblem that is hand-placed by a human operator. The operator needs to accurately align the emblem with brand elements on the main label to ensure a consistent and appealing shelf display.  

To help ensure brand consistency, the distillery uses Pleora’s AI-based Visual Inspection System to add decision-support for manual labelling processes. The camera-based system integrates pre-packaged AI plug-ins that are easily trained on a customer’s unique requirements to visually highlight product differences and deviations for operators and inspectors on a display. The distillery trained the Image Compare plug-in to identify key brand elements on the bottle, with a real-time on-screen image overlay then guiding operators as they manually place the emblem. In addition, the system can be used as a training tool to teach new employees on brand quality standards.

The Visual Inspection System helps the distillery reduce costs and avoid production downtime, as labelling errors can be avoided or detected earlier in the process. As Dairy Distillery seeks to further automate production processes to keep pace with growing consumer demand for its products, it is now investigating ways to use Pleora’s system for quality control (QC) checks for in-production and finished goods. 

Pleora’s Visual Inspection System and AI expertise is also being deployed in electronics assembly, packaging, print and consumer goods applications to help ensure end-to-end quality. The company will be demonstrating its AI portfolio, including the Visual Inspection System, “no code” algorithm development platform, and edge processing, at Photonics West 2022, January 22-27 in San Francisco, CA (booth 4322). Pleora will also be hosting a live webinar – Protect Your Business with AI for Visual Inspection – on Wednesday, February 2 at 11 am EST.

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