Advanced vision inspection at Jürgen Langbein GmbH
The German company Jürgen Langbein GmbH has been producing a variety of gourmet stocks, soups, sauces and pastes for more than 30 years at its headquarters in Kaltenkirchen, near Hamburg. To remove incorrectly labelled jars from the production line in good time, Langbein relies on vision inspection systems from Mettler-Toledo.
In a production area of around 3000 square meters, Jürgen Langbein GmbH manufactures more than 200 different products for the national and international food retail trade. The soups, sauces and stocks are cooked in 400-litre kettles and then poured into jars and cans.
From manual inspection to automated solution
In order to check that the labels on the jars and preserves contained the correct information, Jürgen Langbein initially relied on a complex, visual inspection of the labels in the incoming goods department. In order to quickly and carefully detect the faulty labels, the process was refined by the V15 Round Line Vision Inspection from Mettler-Toledo.
"In order to optimise our controls, we decided to use a system that automates label inspection," explains Johannes Göttsche, deputy production manager at Jürgen Langbein GmbH.
"Our production requirements have changed over time. At 170 jars a minute, we can't guarantee that someone is looking closely at all the jars. For this reason, we needed an automated solution."
Efficient, fast and compact
Jürgen Langbein GmbH finally turned to Mettler-Toledo for advice on a vision inspection solution.
"We were given the opportunity to work on a prototype at Mettler-Toledo. That was great, of course," says Göttsche. For Jürgen Langbein GmbH, it was important to have a system that could perform an efficient 360-degree product data inspection, allow quick and easy product changes, and have a robust and compact design. This ultimately resulted in selecting the V15.
"The system checks 170 products per minute, with five product changes per day. Currently, 220 products are stored in the memory," says Enrico Wiedemann, machine technician at Jürgen Langbein GmbH. "We make product changes very simply by hand scanner. So if we want to run a different product on the line, we scan the product with the barcode, just like in the supermarket, and then the line is changed over."
In addition to the V15, Jürgen Langbein GmbH decided to use a V11 Oriented Line Vision Inspection system for label inspection of jars and canned goods. "The V11 only checks 70 products a minute, which is because these products are packed semiautomatically," explains Wiedemann. The V11 is a smart camera-based integration solution that can be easily integrated into existing production lines or labellers, thus avoiding major expenses for rebuilds.
Quality that satisfies
"The relationship with Mettler-Toledo has worked very well so far. The service contact has also been impeccable," says Wiedemann. "When I had a question about an update, I was forwarded directly to the appropriate contact person. The cooperation with the technicians also works well, because so far, it has been possible to coordinate the time slots really well. This way, we have as little downtime as possible."
Göttsche is also impressed by the quality of the equipment used, "As a food engineer, I am confident in the mechanical and electrical systems. But I also like the frame, because there are no corners and edges where you could hurt yourself or where dust could get trapped. You can really say that the systems are also very appealing in terms of design."
However, it is not only the hardware that meets with great approval at Jürgen Langbein GmbH, but also the software used. "If there is a malfunction in a system, it doesn't say 'error 507', but displays plain text that explains what happened. Of course, this helps us immensely to minimise downtime," explains Göttsche. "We are really very satisfied with the equipment used and the cooperation so far. For this reason, we would choose Mettler-Toledo again and again."