Valco Melton PackCheck System

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Company: Valco Melton, Cincinnati, OH USA
Company Description: Established in 1952, Valco Melton is one of the world's leading suppliers of adhesive application and quality assurance equipment across the packaging, paper converting, graphic arts and nonwoven industries. We specialize in the manufacturing, packaging and sealing of items such as corrugated boxes and cartons across 12 markets and operate in over 70 countries worldwide.
Nomination Category: Products & Product Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best New Product or Service of the Year - Industrial Products & Services

Nomination Title: Valco Melton’s PackChek™ System: Hot Melt Inspection For End-Of-Line Packaging

Tell the story about this nominated product or service (up to 525 words). Describe its functions, features, benefits, and performance to date:

Valco Melton's ClearVision® Camera Inspection System offers an all-in-one quality assurance program that guarantees zero defect boxes. With over 300 installations worldwide, ClearVision Systems with GlueChek™ technology are helping change the competitive landscape by putting box makers in control of what they ship.

Introduced in the fall of 2013,Valco Melton’s ClearVision PackChek™ System is the latest innovation in hot melt inspection for end-of-line packaging. Utilizing specific types of imaging, PackChek inspects every package to ensure hot melt glue has been applied to the correct locations.

While industry standard hot melt sensors have been around for decades, tight space constraints on packaging machinery have made retrofitting them into existing machines extremely difficult. Designed with this in mind, PackChek looks at the surface of outer flaps rather than looking directly at each glue bead. As a result, this enables the inspection camera to be placed on a discharge conveyor with no space constraints.

PackChek has been designed to catch three main types of defects:

• Missing glue beads
• Weak glue beads
• Out of position glue beads

Using thermal imaging, PackChek evaluates any number of hot melt patterns within the camera frame of each glue bead. It then verifies its position and displays a user-friendly image, which can be saved for later use. The system’s software has been specifically configured to define square brackets and the amount of glue that should be applied within them. When one bead or a combination of beads does not meet a requirement, outputs can be configured to stop the machine, eject a case or sound an alarm.

To date, PackChek is the only vision inspection system of its kind on the market, and customers are already reaping numerous benefits including:

• Immediate results with real time faulty product inspection
• Manual glue checks are slow and subjective. With PackChek, operators get invaluable real time feedback allowing problems to be solved immediately before thousands of products go out the door.
• Error reporting to eject bad cases or signal machine stop
• Eliminate rework costs
• One returned truckload of product could pay for an entire machine installation
• Real time pattern feedback
• Adjust patterns ‘on the fly’, without opening them. Alert operator if patterns have not been aligned for different size product.
• Reduce customer complaints
• Product and brand image has never been more important. An open case may not cost a customer, but negative product perceptions add up over time.
• Ability to log defects and analyze long term performance
• With data on presence, length and position of every glue bead, customers can quantify each valve’s performance over a period up to 6 months. Use this data to determine MTBF (mean time before failure), compare valve brands or investigate customer complaints.

Coupling imaging with real time feedback, PackChek hot melt inspection system extends peace of mind to packaging machinery, without space constraints. For this reason, PackCheck is more than just a piece of production equipment—it is part and parcel of Valco Melton's strategy for changing relationships with customers and capturing the impact defective boxes cause downstream of the box plant.

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Provide a brief (up to 125 words) biography about the leader(s) of the team that developed the nominated product or service:

Spearheading the development of PackChek was Valco Melton’s camera inspection specific business, ClearVision, which assigned a group of talented engineers to study the problem of gluing in packaging and identify the most viable solution. From proof of concept to final design, the international team of engineers (originating from eight different countries) brought a diverse range of backgrounds and skill sets to the project. With expertise in machine vision engineering, mechatronics and software programming, each team member offered a unique specialization and point of view, and helped take PackChek from an alpha prototype in a small, local brewery, to the high quality product now used in major breweries across the US.