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P&G Packs it Right with Cognex Vision

P&G India

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The Proctor & Gamble Home Products Limited (P&G India) portfolio includes global brands such as Ariel® and Tide® in the fabric care segment. As a 100% subsidiary of The Procter & Gamble Company, USA, P&G India has achieved a reputation for delivering superior quality, value-added products to meet the needs of consumers.

The Challenge and Risk for Errors

P&G India has many detergent packing lines in their plant running three shifts seven days a week, while manufacturing more than 50 detergent types ranging from 13gm to 4kg in size.

With so many lines and product types with similar packaging laminate colors and sizes, the chance for mix-ups is high. Should a product be packed in the wrong laminate, time and effort are wasted while repacking the product.

Besides ensuring that the right laminate is loaded into the right packing line, P&G India also needs to make sure that the correct maximum retail price (MRP) is printed on each laminate package. When the wrong MRP is printed, this could lead to retailers overpricing or underpricing the products, affecting the profit margins.

Inspection and verification of the laminate packaging and MRPs were previously conducted manually by the P&G staff. This process takes a lot of time and effort as well as still leaving room for errors to occur.

New Inspection and Verification System is Introduced to the Packing Plant

To solve these issues, P&G India decided to integrate Cognex In-Sight® vision systems to inspect and verify the ID and MRP codes printed on the laminates through Optical Character Verification (OCV) technology. This ensures that the right laminates have been placed on the right packing lines and the right MRPs are indicated on the respective laminates.

Sometimes there is a lot of variation in the positions of the ID and MRP codes on the laminates, depending on the inkjet printers that are printing the codes. The PatMax® algorithm, a Cognex patented geometric pattern matching technology, helps the vision systems to read the ID and MRP codes, regardless of their positions on the package.

Offering real-time detection, the In-Sight system instills great confidence to the machine operators because they are immediately alerted and the packing lines automatically stopped should any error occur.

Productivity is Increased when Errors Decrease

With the automated vision systems, both sets of inspection and verification are now done simultaneously with the packing, increasing productivity of the packing plant multi-fold.

With the increased accuracy of machine vision, P&G India is able to reliably avoid laminate mix-ups and eliminate the additional effort of manually completing check lists every hour to ensure the correct laminates are loaded on each of the 22 machines on the packing lines.

About Procter & Gamble

Four billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel®, Always®, Whisper®, Pantene®, Mach3®, Bounty®, Dawn®, Gain®, Pringles®, Charmin®, Downy®, Lenor®, Iams®, Crest®, Oral-B®, Duracell®, Olay®, Head & Shoulders®, Wella®, Gillette®, Braun® and Fusion®. The P&G community includes approximately 127,000 employees working in about 80 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

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