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Plastics Industry


Cognex, the equipment provider, and Cira, the integrator, support companies in the plastics industry in their transition to the new era of manufacturing. With production demands increasing, inspections required surpass the capabilities of the human eye. Tasks such as barcode verification on plastic, inspection of injection-molded parts, examination of instrument clusters, and other composites are addressed by industrial vision systems, barcode readers, and Cognex vision technologies. These solutions offer industry players the opportunity to save time and enhance efficiency in their quality control operations.


As the trend leans towards producing increasingly smaller plastic parts, manually conducting quality inspections can be complex, if not impossible. Industrial vision systems and Cognex Deep Learning solutions can inspect defects in small plastic parts, even those with complex surfaces (such as indentations for easy interlocking). The inspection of injection-molded parts is particularly complex: once removed from the mold, these small parts have a reflective and undulating surface where defect detection cannot occur without an enhanced industrial vision system. Whether defects are functional (flow marks, burrs, deformations) or aesthetic (scratches, discoloration), these vision solutions perform upstream detection of issues before assembly, reducing the risk of rejection.

Many plastic parts contribute to the composition of automotive assemblies, including instrument clusters (or dashboards) and injected parts. An essential element of an instrument cluster is the appliqué, a plastic plate that displays the markings of the speedometer and tachometer. The manual verification of the proper alignment of each appliqué is a repetitive and tedious task, lacking precision. In contrast, inspections carried out by industrial vision systems and their geometric recognition algorithms can precisely locate each plastic tab and deduce the correct or incorrect alignment of the appliqué based on their positions.


DPM (Direct Part Mark) codes are challenging to read due to the low contrast with the surface on which they are printed. Their application on molded plastic, such as in car bumpers, makes reading them even more complex as the surface of these parts is often undulating. Cognex's 2D code readers are capable of reading them, despite the low contrast, thanks to their highly efficient lighting technology.