Importance of AI-Based Vision Inspection system in the Packaging and Printing Industry

14.05.22 11:01 AM By Ekta

Manufacturing industry is highly dynamic and the first impression of the products and brands is their packaging. If a defect or mislabel is not noticed before reaching the customers, the outcomes can be disastrous.

Research shows that consumers form their first impression about products in only seven seconds. Can you imagine the possible results if your factory overlooked packaging and print defects? Such unnoticed defects may result in severe losses for your business, which makes inspection for quality control a crucial function.

Here are some common printing and packaging errors:

Missing Relevant & Crucial Information

The outer packaging must clearly show important information like manufacturing and expiry date. If this crucial information is missing or not clearly printed, it can severely impact the reliability of the products and brand.

Improper Prints, Colour, or Labels

Batch codes are important as these are used to maintain the product database and in determining product pricing. Incorrect or absent batch codes can result in inaccurate product placements and pricing, leading to costly mistakes.

Incorrect or Absent Batch Code

Large companies are very attentive to the printing, colours, and labels to retain their brand image. These defects may be missed when manufacturers adopt manual inspection for quality checks and control.

Other Defects

These include missing liner in closures, cracked or fractured cans or bodies, narrow heat seals, misshaped cartons, pouch fractures, uneven outer surfaces, air or stone bubbles within glass bottles, small scratches on the package, and many more.

Catch these Defects with AI Vision

Types of Packaging and Possible Defects-

Packaging Type

Critical defects

Major defects

Minor defects

Glass containers

Penetrating checks and cracks

Contamination with dust, insects, other foreign matters

Chipped or broken finish

Glass weight less than minimum specified

Non-functional stretching bead

Leaner is over standard norms

Wavy appearance


Uneven outer surfaces

Plastic packages

Breaks or cracks

Thickness is below specified limits

Rough cut off resulting in leaky closure

Below minimum weight

Dimensions outside limits

Leaner’s over standard norms

Streaky pigmentation due to inadequate binding


Crack in metal caps

Missing liners

Outside permissible stress cracking dimension

Loose or hanging liners

Orange or rough pill surfaces

Consumer-related faults

Scratches on the caps’ external surfaces

Metallic packages

Seals leakages

Cracks on ends or body


Dents affecting closing efficacy

Out of round at open ends

External scratches


Incorrect copy or size

Tears and holes

In stick together

Missing colours

Rough weight edges

Loose bonding

Improper label identification

Blister packages

Holes or cracks

Wall thickness below specified norms

Embedded foreign particle

Visual defects


Drawing or mould lines


Dimensions beyond tolerance limits

Tears or holes

Scoff surfaces

Ink spreading

Outer surface stains

Aluminium foil

Core damages

Missing sealing layer

Width variations

Poor resistance

Lamination scratches

Bead over foil surface

Improper sealing

Limitations Of Manual Inspection

Traditionally, manual inspection is common practice in the packaging and printing industry. However, this method of quality control has certain limitations as below:

Inaccurate Results

Human inspection accuracy is variable and subject to several factors, such as turnover, fatigue, and inconsistency. Undetected or inconsistent inspection may result in quality variations across different shifts.

Missed Defects

Manual inspection is limited to only defects that are listed in the SOPs. Unanticipated or defects beyond the manual are not identified by human inspectors, primarily because they lack the training and understanding.

No Records Available

In most cases, no records are maintained when quality checks are done with manual inspections. Traceability is difficult and management is unable to make accurate decisions that improve operational efficiencies, productivity, and profitability.

Fight these limitations
Kiara Sorting and Inspecting packaged drinks for absence and presence of expiry date on the tetrapack with the use of Machine Learning and artificial intelligence

How AI-based vision inspection systems benefit the packaging and printing industry

AI-based vision inspection systems can detect unnoticed defects within seconds, which makes them more accurate, consistent, quick, and detailed. Moreover, unlike human fatigue, machine vision systems tirelessly perform 100% accurate inspections improving quality. Here are several benefits of automated vision systems:

  • Greater accuracy when compared to human inspection resulting in zero errors

  • Cost efficiency as rework and product recall are eliminated

  • Lower wastage as defects are identified without delays reducing production costs and improving productivity

  • Consistently delivering high-quality products enhances customer satisfaction and improves brand reputation

  • Improved bottom line by utilizing personnel in other production areas thereby maximum efficient use of limited resources

  • By ensuring 100% defect-free products consistently, you can explore high-end and international markets

The printing and packaging industry faces several challenges and line cameras can significantly improve quality control requirements. Machine vision technology can open new opportunities and is capable of providing the best method to detect defects and are customisable based on the specific requirements of your production line.

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