Q&A with DTV expert Luuk Hilhorst
The Eagle Vision Dirty Tray Vision system is the only solution specifically designed to tackle waste reduction in starch moulding. And the success is clear– with our instrument, you can significantly reduce waste.
Find out more about what the DTV offers you here:
To learn more about the specifics of the system, and how it came to be created, we spoke to Luuk Hilhorst, creator of the Dirty Tray Vision system.
Q1- Tell me about the Dirty Tray Vision system – what does it do and what is the purpose of the system?
Essentially, the DTV (Dirty Tray Vision) system prevents a starch moulding line from depositing in a starch tray that hasn’t been completely filled.
As you can imagine, when a tray hasn’t been properly filled and this process begins, you will deposit jelly on the bottom of the tray and eventually this will build up over time. You’ll be left with a lump of jelly that will be so thick that the moulds from the mould board will either hit the jelly and break, or jelly will stick to the mould and make a bad imprint.
So, preventing dirty trays is the purpose of the system. That was the idea I started with in the first place.
Q2- How did your idea for the DTV come about and what inspired you to create this?
In the starch moulding industry, dirty trays are a pain. And without a DTV, it’s a problem that everyone has to face.
Asa production manager of a starch moulding plant, we had to stop production twice a year to remove the dirty trays from the system. This is quite an exhaustive process – once you’ve removed the tray, you then need to empty, clean, fill with starch again, and then place the tray back in the system. This may sound easy, but its very labor intensive and wastes a great deal of resources.
When I started my own company, LHT consultancy, I knew a lot of my customers were struggling with this issue. That’s when it occurred to me that this needed to be solved one way or the other. And it was instantly clear that this could only be achieved by a tool that allowed visual insight into what was happening in the tray.
Q3- How did this idea become a reality?
After I decided to see if I could solve this problem, I challenged several test and inspection companies with an expertise in vision technology to find a solution for this serious issue.
There were a few Dutch and Belgian suppliers that tried to create a solution, but it wasn’t that easy – one of the tricky issues that the possibility of dust explosion. After meeting with a number of different organizations, it became clear that partnering with Industrial Physics/Eagle Vision seemed to be the best option. The team’s expertise was unrivalled, and they were equipped with dedicated, expert engineers.
Q4- Tell me about how you worked with our team on bringing this to life?
We built a kind of test rig – the Industrial Physics/Eagle Vision engineers wanted to light the trays from the sides to create shadow, the idea being that the amount of shadow compared with a good filled/printed tray would present a difference in pixels. This would allow us to identify the differences between a good tray and a bad one. A bad one would not be properly filled due to jelly being contained in the bottom.
As we got deeper into the production process, we partnered with another customer who invested in the process. We then tested the system on a production line for a year and managed to achieve strong results.
During this phase there were still some initial struggles to keep lenses and illumination clean and clear, but we were able to solve this later on by incorporating air pulsus towards the lenses.
Q5- Why do you believe it’s so important for companies to cut down on waste?
The waste, mainly in labor, is extremely costly. The dirty trays have to be removed and cleaned, so when they are not in the system, you cannot fill them with jelly – essentially, you are missing out on production of trays!
Waste also leads to a reduction in quality – this is due to the lumps of candy or broken moulds. There’s a real risk that these could end up in the final package and go out to customers – obviously resulting in customer complaints and huge reputational damage for organizations.
Q6- Talk to me about the advanced technology within the system – how does this provide a unique offering to customers?
My experience in the starch moulding industry coupled with the experience of Industrial Physics/Eagle Vision in producing vision technology allowed us to create something truly innovative with the DTV system.
There is no other supplier of vision systems that can even get close to the high-quality system that we produce. And with our sophisticated, state-of-the-art system, you can receive advanced insight – the system allows you to see the start/stop of a run, and you can also get information on the number of trays inspected, rejected, the reasons why, as well as date and time information.
Q7- What is the one thing you believe customers should know about the DTV?
Customers may think they don’t need to spend money investing in this system – they have accepted the situation for what it is. However, we have proven that this doesn’t need to be the case, and investing in a proven solution like the DTV will allow significant waste reduction which leads to significant cost reduction.
The DTV system does not cost money, it saves and brings in money. Some customers have even seen return on investment within 3-4 months!
If you’d like to find out more about the Eagle Vision Dirty Tray Vision system, or you want to know more about the range of test and inspection solutions in packaging offered by Industrial Physics, please get in touch.