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Bottle Inspection and 3D Reconstruction: Quality and Safety at the Top




Comprehensive integrity bottle check, also using the most innovative technologies, is essential to guarantee product quality and consumer safety, convey trust, attention and reliability.

Guaranteeing total product quality is the first step towards establishing appreciation, which allows us to be recognized as a reliable brand. We have spoken to Gionatan Gualazzini, Business Development Manager at FT System.

What important assessments should be considered to integrate quality control in a bottling line? 

It is certainly essential to analyze the context, the product and the production line. The material used to bottle wine and liqueurs is analyzed first, after which the quality checks that can be useful for a producer are defined. Glass is clearly the most widely used and well accepted material by consumers. It has many positive characteristics that allow wine or liqueur to be preserved correctly, however, it simultaneously features some critical issues that must be intercepted during production. For example, the bottle neck is a very delicate part that can easily be subject to cracking or chipping. In the phase prior to filling, it is important to check for such defects, not only as an aesthetic factor, but also for food safety. With regards to this, we offer the neck finish inspection, which combined with the inspection of the bottom, makes it possible to identify these defects and guarantees a thorough quality check of the areas of the bottle that may cause food safety issues. Then there are all the other less particular, but still important inspections, such as checking for dirt and foreign bodies on the outside. Aluminium is also starting to be used in certain foreign markets and as a result, wine is packaged in cans. In this case, there are no issues related to cracks, but in any case, the can may contain foreign bodies and/ or be warped in the area of the flange or the body, thereby causing unexpected production stops in the filling block, thus reducing line efficiency. For this reason, we include the check of empty cans in the production process to inspect the bottom, flange and inside of the cans. 

Speaking of brand reputation, what are the aspects to be assessed so as to fulfil the needs of producers and consumers?

When the consumer picks up a bottle to buy, the first thing they look at is whether there are any defects; in some cases, a small different detail between one bottle and another is enough for it to remain on the shelf and unsold. For this reason it is important to check all the external aspects, ensure the labels are in the right place, arranged linearly according to a layout that must always be the same, ensure the seal is in line with the front label and that the heights and spaces between the different information texts are always identical.  Doing so on a cylindrical bottle requires a lot of accuracy and precision. For this reason, FT System has developed the IE 4000 system, which captures images as the bottle passes at line speed, which are reconstructed in 3D and subsequently developed in two dimensions. All the checks are carried out automatically, based on this development: positioning, code reading and details on the labels. This is the only way to be certain that the bottle being placed on the market has the correct label and no positioning defects. This is a real solution for producers and is a technological evolution. 

Therefore, does 3D reconstruction of the bottle allow other types of information to be identified and inspected as well as the position of the labels?

Yes, it allows you to not only check the position of the label, but also to check that the information written on it is correct - that the wording is all present and positioned in the correct space.
It is therefore not only an “aesthetic” check, but it is also important in substance because it makes it possible to check mandatory data, such as the alcohol content according to the vintage or the wording “contains sulphites” when it must be declared. With three-dimensional reconstruction it is also possible to highlight the presence/ absence of small symbols, such as the crossed-out pictogram of a pregnant woman drinking.

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