Packaging inspection of pharmaceutical jars

Optical quality control from AUTFORCE Vision Systems

We implemented a fully automated vision inspection solution for the optical quality control
of pharmaceutical glassware for Stölzle Oberglas.

The project

We were able to implement a fully automated vision inspection solution for our customer Stölzle Oberglas. The established Austrian manufacturer of packaging glass has commissioned us to automate the packaging control of pharmaceutical jars. Absolutely necessary, because with the changeover from manual palletising to palletising by robot, a solution also had to be found for automated quality assurance of the packed jars. Up to 250 jars per packaging unit are sealed in a transparent plastic film and are to be checked for possible defects or damage before delivery.


  • The packed jars are checked for a correct packing pattern, bottle shape, bottle neck shape, foreign bodies, broken glass and protruding film edges.
  • Cycle time: 8 packaging units (up to 250 bottles per unit) per minute
  • Package height: 20 to 200 mm
  • Cameras: four digital GigE cameras with 1.3MP image resolution each
  • Recognition of 5 different packing patterns and 3 different glass colours


Up to 8 packaging units are checked every minute. The packages have a maximum size of 620 x 480 mm and can contain up to 250 bottles. The particular challenge here is the complex variety of types. The height of the packages varies from 20 to 200 mm and the glass colour can also vary. In addition, the print on the transparent film must not be confused with material inclusions.

The packaging units are transported from the conveyor into the camera tower by means of a pushing device. There, the packages are illuminated from below with a 650 x 650 mm LED surface lamp. To ensure optimal shooting conditions for each colour (clear, brown, green), the lighting was implemented in RGB Full Colour. The illumination changes colour during the test process.

Four digital GigE cameras are pointed vertically at the bottle packs from above. The four cameras are mounted on an automatic Z-axis. This makes it possible to detect the different bottle heights without any problems.


The results of the testing process are displayed live on a touch monitor. Without interrupting the production flow, the employees can also recall the stored images of defective parts via this monitor.

Following the camera inspection, the packed glasses are either transported to a handling robot (pass parts) or to a manual inspection station (fail parts), depending on the failure of the inspection. Thanks to the bypass function, the packs are not only pushed through the camera inspection system, but a visual inspection by employees can also be guaranteed in the event of possible faults.


The machine vision software, which works on the basis of real pattern recognition, is based on Datalogic’s standard software. However, we have adapted this to make the product as user-friendly as possible. Each base product has its own test programme. This is selected automatically via the line’s control system, depending on which bottles are currently being produced or packed. The software is designed in such a way that the employees of Stölzle Oberglas can independently carry out simple extensions or parameter changes after a short training session. This means that the customer does not have to rely on our help every time there are changes, such as the introduction of a new product.

Your advantages at a glance



Thanks to the well thought-out design of the test programmes, our customer can expand or change the test sequences himself with little training effort.

Avoid perceptual errors

Compared to manual inspection by employees, 100% quality assurance can be guaranteed thanks to the vision inspection solution.



Thanks to the bypass function of the system, visual checks can still be carried out by the staff in the event of a malfunction.

Do you also need a solution in the field of industrial image processing?

At AUTFORCE, we specialise in automated quality inspections. Get in touch with us. Together we will find the best solution for your challenge!

Markus Piffer
CEO AUTFORCE Vision Systems GmbH

+43 (664) 966 36 38

Let’s talk!