Automated Surface Inspection

On loom inspection – reduced waste and increased throughput

To obtain the greatest benefit from machine vision technology in a multi stage production process such as woven fabric production, it should be applied at each stage where additional value is created in the product, or where significant value is going to be added at the next stage of the process.

The problem

Generally the largest cost component in creating woven cloth is the raw material cost.

The value of the woven cloth can be downgraded by defects that may occur because of defects in the yarn used, in the weaving machine operation or from operator error. Many of these defects are spot type and small in nature, but there are also defects that may run the whole length of a piece and if unnoticed will result in high waste levels.

Once the cloth has been woven there may be several additional processes that add value (dyeing, printing, coating) and if long running defects are not detected prior to these processes then additional cost is added to already sub standard cloth, resulting in further waste of resources.

Traditionally loom operators have a set of looms they are responsible for and should patrol them to check for quality issues. In reality there is often insufficient time for them to do this reliably and with the ever increasing production speeds of looms defects can run a significant length before detection, if they are ever detected.

The solution

Shelton Vision have applied the power of high speed cloth inspection to slow moving webs at a commercially realistic price level to detect defects in cloth at an early stage and limit the severity to manageable levels.

This means that machine vision systems can be fitted to every loom to eliminate long running and repetitive defects.

In addition defect maps are created that can be used to efficiently find repairable defects in high value cloth.

The outcome

  • Reduction in waste material being scrapped.
  • Full orders completed on time.
  • Increased throughput of repaired cloth.
  • Onward transmission of reliable quality data to the next process, or customer.
  • Elimination of adding further value to already substandard cloth and creating further cost of waste.

Key fact

Machine vision systems can be fitted to every loom to eliminate long running and repetitive defects