Introduction






In the following, we’ll introduce the study of a pattern observed worldwide in the period 2005-2014 in the operative reality of around one-hundred Electronic Inspectors sold to be operated in-the-Machine. “Machine” being a Labeller, Filler, Capper, Closer or Seamer.  The pattern implies  repeatedly observed extremely small defects detected and rejected and, on the opposite, extremely bigger defects also detected, not later rejected. Simultaneously, no false reject of a correct bottle happens.  As a starter, we’ll remember that the Electronic Inspectors, whatever their Vendor, are automated Binary Classifier QA analytic equipments, built in two configurations:

  1. standalone,
  2. in-the-Machine.
Standalone electronic inspection. Standalone configuration

Standalone configuration is, by far, the cheapest.  

2-5 times cheaper than the in-the Machine.   It does not include any connection, sensors, inspections, detectors nor logic relation with a precedent Labeller-, Filler-, Closer- or Seamer-Machine. 

Its: 

tasks are limited to handle a single Shifting-Register, rarely a couple of them;
hardware is reduced to the minimum, typically one Trigger sensor over which the unique Shifting-Register is logically built, inspections and a rejector.       
fitting, wiring, starting and commissioning are accomplished in a limited time and, not being particularly complex tasks, they do not require the typically few available top-skilled service technicians.   
In systhesis: when configured to operate Standalone, all Inspectors imply an installation task that all of the Optoelectronics' service technicians fulfil.


Standalone Configuration

Standalone configuration is, by far, the cheapest.  

2-5 times cheaper than the in-the Machine configurationIt does not include any connection, sensors, inspections, detectors nor logic relation with a precedent Labeller-, Filler-, Closer- or Seamer-Machine.   Its: 

  • tasks are limited to handle a single Shifting-Register, rarely a couple of them;
  • hardware is reduced to the minimum, typically one Trigger sensor over which the unique Shifting-Register is logically built, inspections and a rejector.       
  • fitting, wiring, starting and commissioning are accomplished in a limited time and, not being particularly complex tasks, they do not require the typically few available top-skilled service technicians.   

In systhesis: when configured to operate Standalone, all Inspectors imply an installation task that all of the Optoelectronics' service technicians fulfil.    



In-the-Machine Configuration

In-the-Machine Full Containers Inspection. In-the-Machine configuration

The Electronic Inspectors with locating positions and/or inspections in-the-Machine (Labeller-, Filler, Closer-, Seamer-Machine) are complex and their:   

tasks extended to handle several Shifting-Registers, typically two minimum;
hardware is maximised, several Trigger sensors (inductive and optic) over which the various Shifting-Registers are logically built, many inspections and frequently more than one Rejector.       
their complexity is reflected in their pricing, always a factor 2-5 more expensive than the corresponding models operating standalone, 
years of practice, trainings, deep and true comprehension of the Shifting-Register's concept, are pre-requisite to an accomplished Commissioning.   Commissioning honouring the Contract between an OEM or Vendor and a Food and Beverage Bottling and Packaging Company, also respectful of a row of legal requirements imposing, as an example, that the Machine Safeties cannot be left systematically disabled to the unaware Customers.

The Electronic Inspectors with locating positions and/or inspections in-the-Machine (Labeller-, Filler, Closer-, Seamer-Machine) are complex and their:   

  • tasks extended to handle several Shifting-Registers, typically two minimum;
  • hardware is maximised, several Trigger sensors (inductive and optic) over which the various Shifting-Registers are logically built, many inspections and frequently more than one Rejector.       
  • their complexity is reflected in their pricing, always a factor 2-5 more expensive than the corresponding models operating standalone
  • years of practice, trainings, deep and true comprehension of the Shifting-Register's concept, are pre-requisite to an accomplished Commissioning.   Commissioning honouring the Contract between an OEM or Vendor and a Food and Beverage Bottling and Packaging Company, also respectful of a row of legal requirements imposing, as an example, that the Machine Safeties cannot be left systematically disabled to the unaware Customers.   




Human-Factor Does Matter

Actions to hide the never commissioned synchronisation of Inspector, Labeller and Conveyor, also implying a permanent impossibility for the Bottler to fulfill his quest for: 

  1. minimum losses, 
  2. minimum  downtimes, 
  3. maximum rejection of defects and safety”


Commissionings can only be named and underwritten that way in a worksheet whose signature is asked you when: 

  • honouring the Contract between an OEM or Vendor and a Food and Beverage Bottling and Packaging Company,
  • respectful of a row of legal requirements imposing, as an example, that the Machine Safeties cannot be left systematically disabled to the unaware Customers. 

We are suggesting the Readers that the service technician’s skills are part of the final added-value of the Electronic Inspector, because they are those one who shape the future years of the equipment.  World’s most expensive and higher Quality Electronic Inspector, left in the hands of some of the worst technicians, always perform much worse than World’s cheaper and lower Quality Electronic Inspector, left in the hands of some of the average-skilled technicians of  the World.    



Comparing Pricings

Standalone versus In-The-Machine  


“...service technicians’ skills are part of the final added-value of the Electronic Inspector, because they are those one who shape the future years of the equipment.   

World’s most expensive and higher Quality Electronic Inspector, left in the hands of some of the worst technicians, always perform much worse than World’s cheaper and lower Quality Electronic Inspector, left in the hands of some of the average-skilled technicians of  the World”























How to predict what should be the pricing of an Electronic Inspector’s  installation, say its  fitting, wiring, start-up, Commissioning and Operators’ Training?  Examing a posteriori many hundredths of different installations of Electronic Inspectors in Beverage Bottling Lines:

  • where the above named installation activities had really been made, and made the only way the laws let them be valid in your country, because conformal to Safety rules and other technical good practices it is possible to see that a relation really exist,
  • in different countries,
  • part of Projects of Bottlers in competition (example, Coca-Cola vs. PepsiCo, AB InBev and SABMiller), whose Quality standards are different,
  • configured with all of the existing spectrum of inspections,
  • processing all existing kinds of containers (glass-, PET-, PRB-bottles, metal cans, crates and cases, etc.),
  • from a wide range of productions, from 8 000 til 92 000 containers-per-hour,

regression analysis shows an approximate but straightforward relation deriving be the comparison of the prices of the equipments, when the installation activities are not included.  The installation pricing factor has empiric origin, nor we’d imagine what another way could be imagined to observe tendential relations which can only be obtained by linear regression studies a posteriori.  As an example, if a Full Bottle Inspector costs 8000 € , ~10000 $ (weighs net ~18 kg) is mainly, but not only, because that amount is proportionally related to the sum of the values of its mechanical, pneumatical, optoelectronics, automation and documentation components.  Another kind of Full Bottle Inspector of that same Vendor, priced ten times more, i.e., 80000 €, ~100000 $ (weighs ~140 kg) shall need installation activities extended approximately to a duration 3.5 times longer than 8000 € model, needing just 3 days.  Superior model costs ten times more than the basic because it sports many more functions and optionals to: 

  • install (Rejectors, Triggers, cables, sensors, etc.), 
  • fit, 
  • wire, 
  • start, 
  • commission, 
  • train your staff.

Five basic questions submitted to you own critical thinking:

  1. an Electronic Inspector needing 10 man*day of activities in your site, has been (strangely) delivered you after just 5 man*day ?    
  2. What let you feel comfortable with the idea that its configuration is what you paid for?  What techniques you used to test it ?   
  3. Maybe some test bottles had been passed one hundred times before to decide ?   If this is the case, you have to know this is the kind of inspection a cheap Standalone Electronic Inspector does.  An expensive in-the-Labeller Machine is paid to do many more additional useful things (like, advanced sampling or inspection in-the-Labeller) than just inspection standalone at-the-Conveyor, where the test bottles have been introduced.
  4. Would you order a new car, without to be informed before about its configuration, motor and performances?  We don’t think so, then it makes sense the following question: 
  5. Have you received a precise listing of the functions assured you (Electronic Inspector’s Technical Guarantees) by the OEM or Vendor?  If not, why not ?


Low-res Dual 46000 cans-per-hour Standalone Full Can Inspection with Heuft Spectrum TX X-Rays Fill Level and Inductive Pressure check. Standalone (left) versus In-the-Machine (right) configuration.  At left side depicted two Standalone-configured Full Container Inspectors, each of them processing ~46000 cans-per-hour.  Their Binary Classification task reduced to a single deviation of the red-coloured Rejects out of the green-coloured Production flow.  All Containers entering each Inspector and going to be attributed an identity in the unique Shifting-Register by the unique Trigger, here named and orange-coloured as Production.  At right side, the In-the-Machine inspection system receives 4 additional digital inputs by 2 Machines, here a Filler and a Seamer, which in general may also be Capper, Closer, Labeller or Blowformer.  Also an additional outside blue-coloured for the Advanced Sampling.   A much deeper comparison of the two configurations, one only known to the Vendors, regards the total installation (mechanical, fitting, wiring, start-up, commissioning, training) timings.   However difficult may this result to be accepted, the in-the-Machine inspection configuration at right side needs >16 man*days when the Standalone at left side, needs <4 man*days.   Meaning that the complexity underlying the In-the-Machine delivery to the Bottler is >4 times bigger than for a relatively easy Standalone inspector.  Figures representing the full can inspection systems assuring the Quality of a 92000 cans-per-hour Canning Line Standalone (left) versus In-the-Machine (right) configuration.  At left side depicted two Standalone-configured Full Container Inspectors, each of them processing ~46000 cans-per-hour.  Their Binary Classification task reduced to a single deviation of the red-coloured Rejects out of the green-coloured Production flow.  All Containers entering each Inspector and going to be attributed an identity in the unique Shifting-Register by the unique Trigger, here named and orange-coloured as Production.  At right side, the In-the-Machine inspection system receives 4 additional digital inputs by 2 Machines, here a Filler and a Seamer, which in general may also be Capper, Closer, Labeller or Blowformer.  Also an additional outside blue-coloured for the Advanced Sampling.   A much deeper comparison of the two configurations, one only known to the Vendors, regards the installation (mechanical, fitting, wiring, start-up, commissioning, training) timing.   However difficult may this result to be imagined, the in-the-Machine inspection configuration at right side needs >16 man*days when the Standalone at left side, needs <4 man*days.   Meaning that the complexity underlying the In-the-Machine delivery to the Bottler is >4 times bigger than for a relatively easy Standalone inspector.   Figures representing the full can inspection systems assuring the Quality of a 92000 cans-per-hour Canning Line











                                                                                                                                        

 (Click-to-enlarge)   Standalone (left) versus In-the-Machine (right) configuration.  At left side depicted two Standalone-configured Full Container Inspectors, each of them processing ~46000 cans-per-hour.  Their Binary Classification task reduced to a single deviation of the red-coloured Rejects out of the green-coloured Production flow.  All Containers entering each Inspector and going to be attributed an identity in the unique Shifting-Register by the unique Trigger, here named and orange-coloured as Production.  At right side, the In-the-Machine inspection system receives 4 additional digital inputs by 2 Machines, here a Filler and a Seamer, which in general may also be Capper, Closer, Labeller or Blowformer.  Also an additional outside blue-coloured for the Advanced Sampling.   A much deeper comparison of the two configurations, one only known to the Vendors, regards the installation (mechanical, fitting, wiring, start-up, commissioning, training) timing.   However difficult may this result to be imagined, the in-the-Machine inspection configuration at right side needs >16 man*days when the Standalone at left side, needs <4 man*days.   Meaning that the complexity underlying the In-the-Machine delivery to the Bottler is >4 times bigger than for a relatively easy Standalone inspector.   Figures representing the full can inspection systems assuring the Quality of a 92000 cans-per-hour Canning Line



Why Containers' Triggering is Vital

 Containers Sliding in a Shifting-Register.  Blurring the expected future position P  of a container, originated by a precedent observation, to an observed and erroneous position Q 












To let the Reader of these notes fully understand why all of the Triggering subject has so many pages developed to in this web site, there is to remark that:

  1. the identity of whatever object is its most fundamental information.  It’d make no sense at all to speak of the “defective status of a container” in presence of ambiguity about “what container” is defective.  In other words, containers’ Tracking, is much more important than whatever inspection, say whatever measurement of one of the physical properties of an object;
  2. when comparing Food and Beverage Packaging Industry with the Pharmaceutical Packaging Industry, we discover that the former with few exceptions discards as dangerous the rejection over an external Conveyor of the containers detected “defective” in-the-Machine.  Following Pharma safety standards and customs, detection and rejection have to happen both in-the-Machine.  The rejection has not to happen out of its Shifting-Register, one truly satisfying the requisites of rigidity and impossibility of the containers’ sliding out of the cells them attributed. Pharma Industry refrains to operate like Food and Beverage Packaging Industry operates following the OEMs and Vendors’ design choices.

 All Containers’ tracking Triggers have to be conceived in their true nature: Inspections of the Identity of the Container.  In the figure are visible total 6 Inspections: 3 Tracking Triggers plus 3 Inspections for Closure by mean of Ultrasounds, High Frequency Fill Level and Closure by mean of Visible Light.  Containers are not “glued” nor “weld” on the Conveyor belt, then free-to-slide following the dynamic conditions.  “Free-to-slide” has to be translated in “free-to-loose-their-Identity”


 Containers’ Tracking is a vital subject, regarding what could be correctkly named cotainers’ Identity Inspections.  Relevant for full contaienrs as much as for empty containers. The figure on side shows the Glass Returnable Empty Bottle Electronic Inspector assuring the Beverage Safety of the production outfeeding one of the greatest Bottling Lines of the United Kingdom at Northampton. In evidence its outfeed-rejection area with two LASER Triggers. The one at right side immediately out of the main cabinet, verifies that the identities synchronized by the precedent, non visible Trigger can be still univoquely attributed to the incoming bottle, thus allowing their eventual rejection. The following Trigger, at left side in the figure ~ 120 mm after the last segment of the (Delta-K) Rejector, is a Reject Verification Trigger. Verifying that no bottle inspected Positive is still present in the outfeeding Production way and triggering an Emergency stop otherwise 

  

Machine-Conveyors-Inspector Synchronisation


























Whatever the case, then also for relatively slow speed Labellers (<1.0 m/s), it is vital to synchronise the ramp-up and ramp-down phases of the Labeller and of the out feeding Conveyor, so that their speed difference results always <0.1 %.   0.1 % is a value knowingly close to the nonlinearity limit of the commercial Frequency Converters. Say the equipments regulating the speed of the motors in the Labeller and in the Conveyance systems.  As an example, 0.1 % of divergence between bottle in-the-Labeller and same bottle at-the-Conveyor, at a speed of 1.5 m/s are 1.5 mm.  1.5 mm may appear a small divergence.  But it is the maximum which can be allowed to be, keeping apart the today rare cases where containers’ speed is relatively slow (<0.8 m/s). Containers’ speed, being related to the containers’ kinetic energy following a quadratic law, enhances the slidings’ occurrences and then their negative effects.   


False Triggers and Data Sheets

The Trigger controlling the Rejector, say the last one immediately before the Rejector, shall be exposed to count False Triggers, corresponding to bottles whose identity is unknown because lost. False Triggers which, in your own full interest, have to be absolutely be rejected by the Inspector, also if part of them corresponds to correctly labelled bottles.  To let the Reader of these notes fully understand why all of the triggering subject has so many pages referred to in this web site, there is to remark that:

  1. the identity of whatever is the most fundamental information; it’d make no sense to speak of the defective status of a container in presence of ambiguity about “what container is defective”.
  2. the entire Pharmaceutical Industry discards and avoid as excessively dangerous the rejection of containers detected “defective” in-the-Machine, over an external Conveyor; detection and rejection have to happen in-the-Machine and not out of its Shifting-Register truly satisfying the requisites of rigidity and impossibility of movement of the containers out of the cells there attributed. In brief, Pharma Industry refrains to operate like Food and Beverage Packaging Industry is induced to operate by the choices of the OEMs and Vendors; 

How many of them has to be expected corresponding to correctly labelled bottles, then False Rejects?   A quite precise answer is given by the Inspector Counter menu for False Triggers, visible below as 0.01 %.  Exactly that shall be the portion of the total False Rejects due to Falsely Triggered bottles.  The mere existence of the Container Presence sensor shall force this rejection.  Do not forget what seen above about the Transfer Point of the Labeller Machine's out feed starwheel.    

 False Triggers Reject Definition.  Similar menus for the Tracking Triggers exist whatever be the Vendor of the electronic inspector, however with differences in the colours, logos and motives. The icon indicating a deviation out of the Production flow (Rejection) has to look like in the red box “enabled”.  This way, the falsely triggered bottles shall be rejected. In a Label Presence Inspector in-the-Labeller, different settings you could encounter is a deliberate decision to send to the Market also bottles detected defective because not labelled. Have you requested or authorised this ?     





























We refer to the necessary synchronisation of the Transfer (or, release) Point better than possible and with a positional error <2 mm.  A difference between Labeller and of the out feeding Conveyor >10 mm, say a divergence >0.67 %, implies well visible false rejects caused by falsely Triggered bottles.  The only case where it’s admitted a divergence > 0.1 %, is during the Labeller’s emergency stops.  Special and not frequent cases when to reject some correctly labelled bottles is the best action we can take.  Containers’ tracking starts under the control of a virtual Trigger based in-the-Labeller Machine and has to continue over the following Conveyors, until after the Rejector and the Reject Verification Trigger set immediately after the Rejector.  A problem today widespread is that the relative porcentage of the Electronic Inspectors in-the-Machine (Label, Fill level or Cap Inspectors) really operating like in their Order and their Design, is reduced to minimals never seen along past decades.  A synchronisation respectful of the contractual superior limit given to the False Rejects (False Positives) and to the defective and not rejected containers (True Positives), whatever their nature, implies a limit also on the False Triggers.   


False Triggers Causes

Falsely Triggered container, is a PET- or glass-bottle, a can, keg, crate or case, which lost its “identity” due to several causes like:

  1. outfeed too early or too late by the precedent Labeller-, Filler-, Capper-, Closer-, Seamer-Machine:
    1.  typically indicating a commissioning error in the synchronization Machine-Inspector, 
    2.  rarely due to a hardware fault of one of the detectors,
  2. slided forward, anticipating its arrival front of the following Trigger,
  3. slided backward, posticipating its arrival front of the following Trigger,
  4. manually 
    1. introduced in the flow of containers,
    2. removed out of the flow of containers,
  5. arrived so inclined front of the following Trigger, that it terminated to occupy a precedent or following cell in the Electronic Inspector’s Shifting-Register,
  6. flagging label or foil, emulating a container neck arrival front of the following Trigger,
  7. defective Tamper Evident Ring of plastic caps, emulating a container neck arrival front of the following Trigger,
  8. broken splinters, whose passage is registered front of a Trigger,

Hexadecimal-coded “identity” originally attributed in the data sheet, later accompanying each one of them along their journey through the Electronic Inspector’s “Machines” and “Shifting-Registers”.    



Expensive In-the-Machine Inspectors 


Reduced to Cheap Standalone

   Do you know how is it possible to have the behaviour described by the figures above ?  At right side, the same identical bug as left side, whose size is 60 times smaller.  Label, Container Presence, Torque, Bottle Burst or Asepticity inspections, when accomplished in-the-Machines require special Commissioning cares.  If the good-practices and rules are not observed, you’ll see a strange behaviour.  Small defects detected and rejected, the very big too detected but strangely and visibly not rejected.  In the meantime, …little or nothing of false rejects. Kind of operation hinting to an illusory in-the-Machine electronic inspector whose Shifting-Register is losing containers 

Bottlers’ quest for: 





  1. minimum losses, 
  2. minimum  downtimes, 
  3. maximum rejection of defects and safety. 

implies that all Quality Control equipments have to be at least as performant as they were declared by the respective Vendors in the Technical Guarantees part of that Offer which had been accepted by the Bottler. 

trigger1-copy-2 medtrigger2 med


Containers’ Tracking Triggers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.   [Similar menus for the Tracking Triggers exist whatever the Vendor of the Electronic Inspector, however with differences in their motives, colours or logos].   

Setup of “additional containers not accepted” and “loss of containers not accepted” has mandatorily to be identical to that in a red colour box.  Be wary of setups you may discover presenting “additional containers accepted” and/or “loss of containers accepted”.    As an example, in a Label Presence Inspector in-the-Labeller Machine, they'd correspond to a deliberate decision to send to the Market also bottles yet detected defective because not labelled.  Have you ever requested or authorised in a written way to leave disabled Machine Safeties and/or to counter Vendor's Technical Dept. written design recommendations like these ?    

trigger3 med


But, the Electronic Inspectors’ Shifting-Register is the most complex kind thinkable.  It joins rigid and banal Shifting-Registers, like those of the rotary machines (Filler, Labellers, Closers, Cappers, Seamers) to the anelastic deformable Shifting-Registers (Conveyor’s belts) where containers can freely move themselves, rather than be firmly kept blocked in the Shifting-Register’s cells.   

Have you seen macroscopic defects passing through the Inspector, not detected ?    

trigger4-2 med

We refer ourselves to bottles:

  • semi-empty,
  • without closure,
  • without all of the labels.

Missing rejections made strange by the fact that, simultaneously extremely smaller defects are correctly detected and rejected, as an example:

  • 2 mm underfilled bottles,
  • closure inclined or too high for a few millimetres,
  • bottles rejected because one of the labels is misplaced (but present) for 1-3 mm.
trigger5-2 med



Commissioning

All these cases hint to a parameterisation (or, setup) violating basic rules of Commissioning of the Inspector’s Shifting-Register and of the positions of the Inspector’s detectors in-the-Machines.   Written rules diffused by Vendors’ Technical Departments.   Rules clearly defining what is the most basic “inspection” in whatever Electronic Inspector: the constant control and cross-check of each container’s identity in the Shifting-Register.  If the identity, the identification of an object is ambigous, how and why could we consider it non-defective and ship it to a Customer?   This can be obtained forcing determinate “bits” to do what Vendors’ Technical Dept. and rationality do not want be done.    


 

No “Statistically Significative-Only” 

Sampling or Locating Functions

“...only if the design, integration, installation or commissioning are incomplete or  erroneous the in-the-Machine functions become statistical, say generally wrong”



















If the: 

  • Design, 
  • and/or Integration, 
  • and/or Commissioning, 

of an Electronic Inspector with sensors and/or locating detector are inadequate to the purpose, the location of the Filler's valve no. 1, of the Labeller station no. 1 and of the Seamer /Capper /Closer head no. 1 will not be correctly attributed.  


To understand the point, we can imagine a rotary reference system whose angular velocity ω is constantly changing in nearly random way. Be wary of arguments trying to convince you that in-the-Machine functions (like all those described before) inherent to:

  • Filler valves', Seamer or Closer heads' Locating;
  • Filler valves', Seamer or Closer heads' Sampling;

should be only statistically-guaranteed.  Below an example of the difference between deep and poor knowledge of the status of a system defined in a bidimensional space. X and Y are values measured for physical properties related to the system status. In an ideal-world case, the sharp observed distribution of the measured values (right side graphics) is a vertical line of infinitesimal thickness, infinitely thinner than what here depicted. Infinities corresponding to 100 % of information about the true value of one of the physical properties characterising a system. In our practical cases, distributions can only be spread and then the key point becomes the answer to a single question: how-much spread?  What a variance to consider “acceptable” to say that we have enough knowledge about a system?   

sharp-and-unsharp-informati med-2

   3-D sharp and unsharp distributions for the Probability of the status (X, Y) of the property of an object.  Status derived by the informations arising by physical measurements of its properties.  Electronic Inspectors' physical measurements, kept apart extremely rare exceptions, are based on electromagnetic interactions between a sensor and the object








To say that the knowledge available at a given time for a physical property, as an example, the couple of angles of revolution of the Filler’s Valve no. 1 and of the Capper's head no. 1 is statistical, means an unsharp distribution like that one above, at left side.  In the reality, only if the Design and/or Integration and/or the Installation and/or or the Commissioning are erroneous, the in-the-Machine functions surely become statistical, say generally wrong.  

An excellent way to quantify if all is correct lies in the observation of the Electronic Inspector’s False Triggers Counter.  It has always to be < 0.5 %, thus assuring correctness to >99.5 % of the Locating and Sampling operations.



Oscillographic Testing

 The romboidal grey coloured area in the centre of the yellow oscillograms visible on side is meant as an off-limits  zone.  No yellow colour signal has never to pass through it, because it’d mean a bold violation of the phase-relation between different time-ordered actions

What explained before is a commonly known malfunction for the Electronics Engineers engaged with high frequency measurements.  They use on a daily base oscilloscopes like the one visible on side.  By mean of these instruments they are also controlled eventual malfunctions of the digital circuits.  In these circuits are treated nearly rectangular waveforms subject to well-defined phase relations.  An erroneous phase relation can cause whatever thinkable negative effect, depending on the kind of technical, medical, aerospatial, scientific or military application. The romboidal grey coloured area in the centre of the yellow oscillograms visible on side is meant as an off-limit zone.  No yellow colour signal has never to pass through it, because it’d mean a bold violation of the phase-relation between rigorously time-ordered actions. Exactly what a False Trigger Signal typically is.  If you have availability of an oscilloscope with memory, you are in the best conditions to verify on your own counting them one-by-one, the reality of the situation. It may be considered acceptable that <0.5 %, one bottle each two hundred, is referred to a Trigger Signal invading the grey-coloured off-limit zone. In some cases, when auditing systems allegedely commissioned, we discovered that over 99.9% of the bottles was in the reality not-synchronised at all.  Meaning that 70 % of the total price paid for those equipments was, in the reality, not operating.  Do not accept any “statistically significative only” pseudo-explanation for what is known us Electronic Engineers to be a rough evidence of erroneous or missing setup or malfunction.   




Small defects correctly rejected and some very 

big defects are not ?

If the scenario described above in bold letters corresponds to the strange one you had sometimes observed, then the problem affecting the Quality of your Company does not derive by missing detection, because of inspections’ sensitivities not adequate to the defects’ sizes or contrasts.  Quite banally, a bottle rejected because:

  • its plastic cap is 1 mm too high, 
  • one of the labels is 2 mm misplaced, 
  • 1 mm underfilled, 

implies that completely missing caps or labels and under- or over-filling are detected well over 3-standard deviations. Then, they’d had to be rejected if…, if the Inspector's Shifting-Register has not undue programmed parameterisations forcing that outcome when the container lost its identity.  If cases like these have yet been and continue to be observed in your Beverage Bottling Line, then there is the possibility that the in-the-Machine Electronic Inspector you acquired is in-the-Machine only in its expensive mechanics, hardware and firmware.  But that later was not Commissioned in-the-Machine. Rather, as it’d be a much cheaper model operating Standalone at-the-Conveyor. We have records of too many Inspectors in-the-Machine only in their expensive hardware, encountered forced to operate standalone and not in-the-Machine.    

Foreign object 60 times smaller in a bottle base. Have you repeatedly observed that an extremely small defect detected and rejected and that, on the opposite, extremely bigger defects also detected but were later strangely not rejected ?   And, simultaneously, no false reject of a correct bottle happens ?   Then, it is highly probable that the expensive in-the-Machine (Labeller, Filler, Closer, Capper, Seamer) electronic inspector you acquired, had been parameterised forcing it to operate as a cheap Standalone model


Defect copy. Have you repeatedly observed that an extremely small defect detected and rejected and that, on the opposite, extremely bigger defects also detected but were later strangely not rejected ?   And, simultaneously, no false reject of a correct bottle happens ?   Then, it is highly probable that the expensive in-the-Machine (Labeller, Filler, Closer, Capper, Seamer) electronic inspector you acquired, had been parameterised forcing it to operate as a cheap Standalone model


  Have you repeatedly observed that an extremely small defect detected and rejected and that, on the opposite, extremely bigger defects also detected but were later strangely not rejected ?   And, simultaneously, no false reject of a correct bottle happens ?   Then, it is highly probable that the expensive in-the-Machine (Labeller, Filler, Closer, Capper, Seamer) electronic inspector you acquired, had been parameterised forcing it to operate as a cheap Standalone model




    To downgrade a very expensive, complex and highly useful in-the-Machine (left-side) electronic inspector with detectors and/or inspections in the Filler, Capper, Closer, Seamer, Labeller or Blowformer Machine in a cheap and basic Standalone (left-side), is much easier than to commission the in-the-Machine.  Easy to do and difficult for the Bottler to perceive


Systematic Actions and Omissions

         

 Actions in some cases, extended to the Inspector's hardware, so to let a green colour traffic light on keep calm the dubious Bottlers, switching artificially off the red colour traffic light that the Electronic Inspector’s inner diagnostics was in the meantime trying to show

~70 of the past >100 electronic inspectors in-the-Machine in their hardware and firmware, have been and are presently being discovered and recorded on the opposite operating Standalone, because of a well defined pattern of settings: 

  • targeting the False Triggers Reject Definition, a particularly important Machine Safety of the Electronic Inspector, so not to reject the containers without identity, those defective included; 
  • targeting the operational definition of the Triggers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). All containers “lost” or “additional” forced to be considered “correct”.   The opposite than what an expensive Electronic Inspector in-the-Machine has to do;
  • targeting the Reject Verification Trigger, leaving it disabled (e.g., marked like Trigger 5 in the menus above at right side).  Reject Verification Trigger, whose red colour laser is visible in the figure below, is the most important Machine Safety;
  • aimed at hiding the never commissioned synchronisation of the system Inspector + Labeller + Conveyor, also implying a permanent impossibility for the Bottler to fulfill his quest for: 
    1. minimum losses, 
    2. minimum downtimes, 
    3. maximum rejection of defects and safety.
  • extended to the Inspector's hardware in some cases, so to let a green colour traffic light keeps calm the dubious Bottlers, forcing artificially off the red colour traffic light.  That permanent alarm status that the Electronic Inspector’s inner diagnostics should have showed if those jumps (or, bridges) should not have been made.

Above, at right side, a sequence of menus translating in a practical real case of Inspector in-the-Machine, how it looks like the correct sequence of Tracking Triggers. It is a basic and fundamental set of instructions: there are additionals.


Reject Verification Trigger is a vital Machine Safety. Systematically targeted also the Reject Verification Trigger, leaving it disabled.  In the menus above at right side it appears marked as Trigger 5.





 Reject Verification Trigger is the most important Machine Safety. Systematically targeted also the Reject Verification Trigger, leaving it disabled. In the menus above at right side it appears marked as Trigger 5





















“...possibility that the in-the-Machine Electronic Inspector you acquired is in-the-Machine only in its expensive mechanics, hardware and firmware.    

But that later was not Commissioned in-the-Machine rather Standalone”












Be extremely careful.  The definitions evidenced in the red boxes have to appear: 

  • “additional containers not accepted”  
  • “loss of containers not accepted”.     

No other setup is conformal to what the Technical Department of the Electronic Inspectors’ Vendors asks to do and for obvious reasons.  Different setups, like: 

  • “additional containers accepted”  
  • “lost containers accepted”

strictly and only mean that the bottles (or, cans) who have lost their own identity in the Inspector’s Shifting-Register, have to be considered “correct bottles”.  Apply this to an Electronic Inspector with Label Presence inspections in-the-Labeller Machine.  It means to send straight to the Market all bottles without labels, also without any one label, if these bottles have lost their identity.  To loose the identity, it is enough to slide one-half of the bottle diameter and/or, to be in the Shifting-Register of an erroneously commissioned Electronic Inspector.  What surely happens very frequently in an Inspector when misrespecting the Commissioning's recommendations and good-practices. 


Root Causes

  1. Vendor’s Service Technician.   If the Service Technician is not capable to commission the in-the-Machine inspector existing at least in its hardware and firmware, several way-outs known us Experts remain open to let the Inspector “look-like it is operating in-the-Machine”, when in the reality it is not.  

         We recorded >70 of these occurrences along >100 in-the-Machine inspectors’.  

  1. Maintenance Dept. Staff.   Alternatively, the observed permanent anomaly could have origin in an erroneous reprogramming of a correct parameterisation, by someone part of the Bottling Maintenance Dept. Staff.  However someone owning an access level high enough to have the possibility to change these parameters. 

         We recorded <5 of these occurrences along >100 in-the-Machine inspectors.   

  1. Production Operators.    They are excluded.   


  1. Random, spontaneous changes of the parameterisation.   They are excluded.   These “errors” are not randomly affecting all of hudredths or sometimes thousands of parameters, rather always and only a few very well definite.   If it’d be bad luck, we’d be forced to say that after 2004 “mr. Bad Luck” dresses very powerful lenses when targeting the in-the-Machine Electronic Inspectors to downgrade them to Standalone.

A precise, factual and evidential attribution of the Root Cause of these undue parameterisations, can be easily obtained after controlling the historic memory of the Data Saving operations in each Electronic Inspector.  Simply checking the setup of these decisive parameters on the date when Vendor passed to Bottling Company the equipment declaring it complete and corresponding to the Purchase Order.  


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