Defect detection systems successfully installed in Tampere University of Technology’s extrusion coating pilot line
As part of the NanoMend project, two in-line, integrated defect detection systems provided by ISRA Vision have been successfully installed within the extrusion coating pilot line at Tampere University of Technology. The two systems, one high resolution for lower line speeds, and the other a high speed system for high line speeds, both utilise novel optical inspection methods and are capable of detecting micro-scale defects within continuous production without reducing production efficiency. The novel defect detection techniques developed by NanoMend are seen as key in the market adoption of high quality coated fibre-based packaging and plastic films for food products.
The need to cut manufacturing costs and address environmental concerns is leading to a reduction in the volume of polymer used to coat paper and packaging products. However the reduction of polymer poses a problem for manufacturers as thinner polymer films are more sensitive to defects. NanoMend is developing Atomic Layer Deposition techniques to deposit protective coatings onto packaging materials that are only a few nanometres thick and also have a very low water vapour transmission rate. NanoMend will assess the economic feasibility of these technologies by providing the expertise and capability to test and develop the technologies at roll to roll, pilot production scale. The commercialisation of the technologies developed in NanoMend will significantly enhance film quality, yields and product lifetimes as well as minimising manufacturing costs and materials wastage.
Dr. Johanna Lahti from Tampere University of Technology, who is coordinating the demonstration systems, commented “At the moment we have started the trial runs with both systems for StoraEnso and Iscent, who are the industrial end users within the NanoMend consortium. Future work is focused upon the addition of a novel cleaning system to remove the defects and also an array of the latest high resolution cameras which will detect any defects that remain. This will allow us to process the large volume of data produced by these high resolution cameras, and most importantly at a high speed that is suitable for industry. The technologies developed will provide a significant step towards the commercialisation of high performance food packaging and smart packaging applications.”