Identifying the defects of a ceramic piece before being fired means, first of all, maintaining the high quality of the production and a constant quantity of first choice produced, and not only. The insertion of vision controls in the production line also makes it possible to obtain more or less direct advantages on several fronts.
Integrity, flatness, curvature: the ingredients for a perfect piece.
Different aspects have to be analyzed in order to be able to perfectly define a ceramic piece. The simplest and most visible is its integrity, that is, the completeness of the piece in all its parts. Then, there is its flatness, which means the perfect uniformity of the flat surface of the tile. And finally, decoration, that is,that is, the faithful reproduction of the decoration file according to the set production characteristics. Besides these 3 characteristics, the dimension of the piece has always to be checked.
The human eye is not enough when the defects are millimetric.
Vision devices help to identify all the flatness, curvature and integrity defects which would not be visible to the naked eye, besides making a dimensional check of the pieces, analyzing the entire surface of the decorated or non-decorated tile before the firing phase through sophisticated set ups of video cameras, optical sensors and generators of laser lines. As a result, this analysis is made with millimetric precision: quality control systems can, in fact, scan the profile and the surface of the pieces to create a 3D visualization and in most cases detect defects with a precision of ±1 tenth of a millimeter.
Key word: optimization.
Vision controls are normally positioned in the line before the firing phase or also precede the decoration phase. The reason is very simple, but fundamental: proceeding with the firing of a piece that has defects would be a waste of time and resources. Identifying defective pieces and classifying them according to the defect makes it possible to keep a high level of first choice product and, at the same time, with a view to reducing waste, non-conforming unfired pieces can be recuperated, energy consumption of the kiln is optimized and, in the case of controlling before decoration, a considerable saving of ink is achieved.
High-level technology supporting production.
System Ceramics’ numerous vision control devices meet every market need as they are able to count on a technology developed by professionals with extensive know-how and over 50 years’ experience behind them. For example, Liner has 5 high-resolution CCD optic sensors positioned at the four corners of the tiles plus one at the center in a very precise telecentric set up with perpendicular reading. Redline, instead, with a series of video cameras and up to 9 laser line generators, can analyze the entire tile surface memorizing a matrix of dimensions with 2 mm pitch, providing a perfect and hyper-detailed measure of flatness. Check Point, on the other hand, has the special feature of controlling defects of the substrate and glaze, sending feedbacks in real time to the operator, who is then able to rectify the problem before printing.
To find out more about our vision devices, visit the dedicated section on our website