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Long Pasta Quality Control with Machine Vision Systems

A well-known Italian pasta factory, a leader in Asian markets as well, entrusted us with the challenge of developing a state-of-the-art Machine Vision system for quality control of long pasta on the move. Quality is a key pillar in their supply chain, and our goal was to provide them with a tool capable of detecting defects in real time.

What makes this project extraordinary is the challenge of interfacing Machine Vision systems with pasta in motion, a feat never attempted before in the pasta industry.
A well-known Italian pasta factory, which is also very present in the Asian markets, where quality is one of the key factors in the choice of supplies, commissioned us to study and develop a Machine Vision system for the control of long pasta in motion, which would be able to analyse and detect any defects in real time.

The originality of this project, but also its greatest difficulty, lies in the fact that to date no one in the pasta industry has succeeded in interfacing Machine Vision systems on moving products.

The Development Stages of the Pasta Quality Control System

Testing and Configuration

We started the design with an experimental phase based on the use of monochrome images, a fundamental approach for the development of our Machine Vision system. Our software was carefully designed to perform one of the most critical functions in pasta production: the identification of anomalies, often represented by dark 'spots', which can compromise the quality of the final product. This software carefully analyses variations in grey levels in images, looking for signs that may indicate potential problems.

To further refine the accuracy of our system, we have introduced a sophisticated adaptive filter. This filter takes into account the vertical arrangement of the pulp strands in the production process. We recognise that differences in grey level variations due to the pulp strands themselves can be mistaken for real stains. Therefore, our adaptive filter is able to isolate and precisely distinguish variations that occur in the vertical direction from transverse variations that may be caused by the pulp strands themselves.

LinceONE Machine Vision System Study

In the next step, we introduced the LinceoONE system, which is based not only on differences in light intensity, but also exploits the colour variations and saturation present in different areas of the image.

To ensure maximum accuracy and resolution, we decided to use four cameras positioned on each side of the paste. This arrangement allows us to capture eight different colour images, one for each camera.

But the real innovation lies in the extraction of key information from the images. Using the LinceoONE system, we precisely extract the relevant 'BAND', such as saturation, to analyse the specific characteristics of the area of interest. This key step allows us to very accurately identify anomalies, colour variations or abnormal saturation that could indicate problems in production.

A further advancement we have introduced is the use of the HSI (Hue, Saturation, Intensity) derived image. This approach has proven to be extremely effective as it completely eliminates the annoying vertical dark areas that can occur due to shadows between the paste strands. This result represents a major step forward in optimising the control areas and increasing the effectiveness of the algorithms employed.

The HSI representation offers a more complete and accurate view of the colour and light data in the image, allowing a better distinction between variations due to real imperfections and those caused by shadows or reflections. By eliminating vertical dark areas, our Machine Vision system can focus more precisely on key characteristics of the paste, such as saturation and hue, without being influenced by irrelevant elements.

The results of the implementation of Pasta Quality Control System

Thanks to our Machine Vision system, the customer was able to implement a 100% robust and reliable long pasta production control system, avoiding delivery disputes. The LinceoONE system has received praise from end customers, including international ones, who often carry out inspections of production facilities, especially in the food industry.

Our Machine Vision system for long pasta control is at the forefront of the industry and an important asset for our customers. This state-of-the-art technology offers numerous advantages, enabling our customer to consistently maintain the highest quality in long pasta production and to effectively respond to the growing demands of global markets.

Thanks to our system, it is possible to achieve accurate and continuous supervision of the pasta production process. Every step, from the preparation of the dough to the formation of the finished product, is subject to detailed monitoring to ensure compliance with strict quality standards. Machine Vision technology is able to detect even the smallest imperfections and ensure that only the highest quality pasta is brought to market.

Our success stories outlining the features of our solutions

The flexibility translated into customised solutions, to speed up production processes, reduce errors and the resulting costs. We have been in the business for 30 years and have a wide range of experience in different sectors.

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