High Speed Industrial Inspection Technologies

Request Number REQ3339682
Due Date May 5, 2017
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
High Speed Industrial Inspection Technologies
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a global consumer product manufacturer, invites proposals for technologies that permit rapid, non-destructive inspection of plant-based product containers prior to shipment.


NineSigma’s client markets a variety of products that contain a non-liquid, fermented, plant-based product. The material is packaged into small plastic containers and sealed with either a thin plastic or tin lid (roughly 0.01” thick). The individual containers (2.55” diameter x 0.9” high) are placed end to end & shrink wrapped into stacks of five (2.55” diameter x 4.72” high). A case (8.5” W x 16” L x 5” H) is comprised of 18 stacks in a 3 x 6 array. Cases are packed at a rate of 6 – 8 per minute.


















As part of an existing quality control program, individual cans are scanned by x-ray for contaminants prior to stacking. Potential contaminants include small, irregularly shaped pieces of clear glass or metal, such as brass or aluminum.


NineSigma’s client seeks technology to quickly scan cases of product to determine if contaminants are present. While evaluation of cases is preferred, scanning at the stack level is also of interest.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Proof of concept

  • Demonstration of technology on test containers of product
    • Approaches requiring additional development time may be requested to demonstrate viability with completed technology prior to Phase 2


Phase 2 – Commercial development

  • Demonstration of technology in production setting


Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2

Client will consider for advancement an approach that meets performance criteria with acceptable economics and pathway to commercialization.


Additionally, depending on the technology proposed, additional evaluation may be necessary to ensure that the scanning process is not detrimental to the product.


While mature technologies, ready for implementation in an industrial setting, are generally preferred, NineSigma’s client is also interested in newer approaches, provided there is a clear path to commercialization.


Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • Be capable of locating:
    • Clear glass
    • Stainless steel
    • Aluminum
    • Brass
    • Tin
  • Discriminate between tin container lids and possible tin contaminants
  • Be capable of locating irregularly shaped contaminants:
    • Desired detection threshold: 2mm 
    • Detection of smaller sizes highly desirable
  • Be capable of:
    • Evaluating stacks in a continuous fashion OR
    • Evaluating cases in either a continuous or batch fashion
  • Be safe for use in an industrial manufacturing environment
  • Operate in an autonomous manner
  • Not significantly impact production line speed
  • Store digital records of suspect cases for review
    • Images preferred

Possible Approaches

While the client currently utilizes x-ray technology for its internal quality control scanning, all approaches capable of locating contaminants with a stack or case are of interest.


Approaches not of interest

Irradiative technologies

Preferred Collaboration types
  • Joint Development
  • Technology Licensing
  • Supply Agreement
  • To Be Negotiated
Items to be submitted

To respond, please make sure you are registered in NineSights, as it will prompt you to log in. Then, use the Response options at the top or bottom of the page. You may submit supplemental files in addition to your completed response form.


Appropriate responses will use the response form and address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology and working principle including
    • Minimum resolution performance
    • Material(s) detected
    • Scan time
    • Imaging capability
  • Technical maturity of the approach (concept, reduced to practice, prototype, ready to commercialize, ready to implement, commercialized)
  • Pathway to commercial scale including timing, estimated budget, and capacity for manufacture
  • Estimated unit cost of technology
  • Position on intellectual property including patent references
  • Desired relationship with sponsor
  • Team description and related experience


Other Request information includes:



Responses from companies (small to large), academic researchers, other research institutes, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome. For example:


You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a proof of concept.

You represent a company or university that has reduced method to practice at lab scale.

You represent a company or university that has developed a method for use at pilot scale.

You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a method ready for implementation at industrial scale.

You represent a university research department that has a bench-scale demonstration ready to adapt.

You represent a university research department that has an undeveloped pathway with a high probability of success.



Area of Interest
  • Consumer Products
  • Packaging
Request Priority
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