Case Studies

Milk Jugs

Milk Jug Vision Sorting System

Posted in Allen Bradley PLC, Food and Beverage, Manufacturing Automation and Intelligence, PLC Programming


DMC was enlisted to provide emergency assistance and repair the sorting system of a California based milk provider, eliminating the need for thousands of gallons to be sorted by hand.

Vision Camera Image

Vision Camera Image


DMC was contacted by a California milk bottler to provide emergency support after the failure of their internal milk sorting system. An unknown failure was causing the camera responsible for deciding milk type based on cap color and position to fail and not send data to the PLC. This meant that thousands of gallons of milk per day had to be sorted and dragged by hand instead of relying on the automated vision and conveyor system. DMC was able give onsite support to this remote customer within 8 hours and the plant was online within 24 hours of their contacting DMC. DMC was able to quickly diagnose and correct the issue despite not having worked with this customer's particular system before. The issue was determined to be an excess of stored images on the computer. These images were removed using low level command line tools to prevent the system from crashing, and after repair, measures were taken to ensure this failure would not occur again. DMC also provided changes to the system which increased the accuracy of readings and decreased the need for human monitoring of the sorting process.

Customer Benefits

  • Reduced labor costs due to DMC correcting the original problem and further reduced labor costs due to additional system improvements
  • Quick responsiveness to emergency issue allowed full production to resume in a timely manner
  • Increased quality control and system reliability as a result of DMC's improvements to the vision algorithm


  • Cognex In-Sight 5100c
  • Allen Bradley PLC
  • FTP
  • In-Sight Explorer