The Increase of Glove Production During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The whole world has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in one way or another. Some countries are suffering a great loss of lives, while others are suffering from economic disasters and shortages of PPEs, masks, and gloves. Masks and gloves are being used by ordinary citizens, in addition to medical experts. People are taking steps to avoid catching the virus and inhibit its spread around the country. Wearing gloves is one of the primary precautions taken by people. As a result, there is an unprecedented demand for gloves due to coronavirus.
Like any other product, there are various types of gloves available in the market. Organizations and gloves manufacturers are also taking steps to speed up glove production to meet the rapidly increasing demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the increased production, it is also important to maintain the quality of the gloves being produced to make sure they can protect the people against germs and viruses. Therefore, modern methods of gloves inspection are being implemented by factories and manufacturing companies.
Currently, most of the production companies make use of ultrasonic and laser vision to identify defects in the majority of the products. Many other vision-based techniques can be used for defect detection and quality control. Some of these techniques are neural networking, morphology processing, fuzzy inference systems and edge detection.
Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) Machines
The AOI machine is one of the most efficient modern methods of inspecting different products, including gloves. During these times when gloves production is at an all-time high, AOI machines have proven to be effective in regulating the quality of the gloves being produced to keep up with the increased demand of gloves and rapid production.
The Efficiency of the AOI Machine in Glove Inspection
Automated inspection is much better than manual production for several reasons. One of the most important reasons why the AOI machine is important is that it is impossible to manually inspect the vast quantity of gloves that are being produced nowadays. It means that manual inspection cannot work for glove inspection, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when high-quality gloves are needed in large quantity.
Moreover, machine vision is much better than human vision. There are many minor as well as major possible defects in gloves that may be ignored by the human eye. As a result, there is always a higher risk of quality loss in manual inspections. Using the AOI machine, human errors are eliminated from the glove inspection. Very slight defects can be detected by the machines and therefore, an organization and manufacturers can maintain the high quality of steady glove production.
AOI machines make use of ultraviolet, x-ray, and infrared rays to thoroughly examine the gloves. On the massive production lines that are needed today, AOI machines can inspect thousands of products like masks, PPEs, and gloves in a short amount of time.
The capabilities of an AOI machine is dependent on its algorithms and the way it is programmed to function. Typically, the following defects of gloves are detected by an AOI machine:
- Tear in any part of the glove
- Incomplete beading
- Dirt and small holes
- Double-dipping of the gloves
- Incomplete design, for example, design of a finger is missing
Other than the above defects, many different aspects of a glove are also examined. AOI technology may also check weight, size, the colour of the particular production line, any shipping marks and dimensions of the gloves. Many modern AOI machines can also detect dampness on the gloves, check if they are permanently damaged and alert the manufacturer.
AOI machines are able to detect different types of gloves with excellent accuracy of about 80% to 85%. There is still a considerable margin of improvement in the system by adding and updating the algorithms to detect different types of defects in the gloves, depending on different sizes, types and colours.
The current landscape of the medical and manufacturing industry clearly indicates that there is a great need for improvement in the inspection process of different products, including gloves. Automatic inspection is the only way to meet the demand of consumers and prepare for any future spike in production triggered by a crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
The implementation of these state-of-the-art AOI machines will ensure that there is no shortage of gloves in the world, and everyone is able to easily obtain them in the market. Most importantly, the quality of the gloves will improve significantly, and errors in glove production and inspection will be minimized. For more information about AOI machines, feel free to get in touch with us.
Cortex Robotics Sdn Bhd.
72-2-6, Arena Curve, Jalan Mahsuri,
11950 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
T: +604 – 611 0110