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July 25, 2017

As manufacturing continues to evolve, new trends are emerging. Fifteen years ago, the trend was the demand for better production rates and smaller packages. What’s trending in 2017? IIoT: The Industrial Internet of Things, and it’s drastically changing the way manufacturing companies handle production.

One of the most promising IIoT tools is also the tool most responsible for packaging innovation, and it’s the vision system. Vision systems are pushing companies into a new era of efficient production, but before we explore these systems, let’s learn more about IIoT.


IIoT helps a company collect data and share it across company divisions by using multiple devices to trace products. To do this, IIoT meshes machine learning and big data technology, harnessing machine-to-machine communication, sensor data and automation technology. Companies that have implemented IIoT are already realizing its benefits, because IIoT:

  • Improves connectivity between people and equipment,

  • Increases overall production efficiency,

  • Enables companies to scale production precisely

  • Provides a complete, accurate, overall view of company performance.

The end result? Executives can make better operational decisions that save the company time and money.


Manufacturing technology never stops becoming more sophisticated. This can make it difficult for companies trying to adapt to a highly demanding market. Historically, operations were manual. Now, manual operations are slowly, supplanted by faster, smarter automated devices that deliver undeniably superior results. Devices such as vision systems. They’re becoming increasingly important in highly regulated industries like food processing, as those industries scramble to meet looming deadlines for increasingly stringent regulations.

For example, the pharmaceutical industry already has embraced IIoT as a way to keep up with regulations and the ever-increasing speed of time to market. In 2017, the second phase of the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act will be implemented, with the EU Falsified Medicine Directive expected to go into effect in 2018. Both regulations emphasize the ability to trace products.

This “track and trace” approach is intended to allow manufacturers to follow a specific product from the production line to retailers, and is designed to enable the industry to react more quickly to a product recall. Compliance with the new regulations will enable manufacturers to trace every product more easily and to prevent any product with inferior quality from reaching the next step in production.

The quality of a product used to be verified by human employees, but it’s now becoming clear that automation is the only way to meet the regulations and pace of modern manufacturing. Vision systems are the new labor force. With the use of vision systems in a production line, companies have a detailed image of each product, inspecting it in real time and making decisions about product quality.

INSPEK Vision System


A good vision system can accomplish many tasks that simplify the inspection process: Label inspection, print verification, error identification in packaging, seal integrity inspection, bar code validation, punch hole presence, product in seal, wrinkles and fold in seal, and many more errors can be detected by a vision system.

But with so many options available, how is a manufacturer supposed to choose the vision system that’s right for his particular needs?

By considering the following aspects of your production. Knowing your product application requirement is the first step to consider in choosing vision technology. This will help you to select the system components you need, such as illumination and quality of camera lenses. Here’s a comprehensive list of what to consider:

  • Number of inspections per second

  • What are the attributes to inspect?

  • How fast are the parts to be inspected moving along the production line?

  • Size of the product area to be inspected

  • Level of accuracy required

  • Are single or multiple views of the product required?

  • Color inspection?

  • The actions to be taken as a result of the inspection

Manufacturing—and the legislation that regulates it—will continue to evolve. Selecting the right tool to help you work more efficiently is vital to keeping pace with the speed of this evolution. IIoT, connectivity and vision systemsare revolutionizing how we do business. Will vision systems help your company thrive?

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