SEA Vision has made its foray into AI with A-Eye Lipstick, an intelligent visual inspection system that aims to enhance quality control efforts in the makeup market.
The company believes this system can boost the quality of lipsticks across the industry, especially in Asia’s booming makeup market.
In particular, the company is eyeing the cosmetics market in China where more local players are rising to develop high quality products to service their consumers.
“There are already so many premium brands in China with good revenues and good manufacturing processes. In order to increase the quality of their products, an automated system like this vision system will be a big plus for consistent quality,” said Francesco Ringressi, business development manager, SEA Vision.
AI trumps QC challenges
Despite the efforts made by lipstick producers to control a whole series of common potential defects, issues still manage to slip through the cracks.
“At the moment, in the industry there is no visual system that’s automated. Everything is done using the human eye,” said Ringressi.
This is further complicated by nature of the cosmetics market, which pushes manufacturers to constantly develop new lipstick launches, including limited editions, market exclusives, and seasonal launches.
“The fact is that lipstick can be a very difficult product to inspect because you have different shapes, sizes, and colours. The manufacturing process is complex. And sometimes you have texts, logos, textures, so using a standard visual system that relies on image comparison, for instance, is not so easy. This is especially if you have to change the product every few months to accommodate special launches like Christmas products,” said Ringressi.
SEA Vision has leveraged AI to develop a visual inspection system to detect flaws in lipstick bullets during production.
“What we have is a system that is able to understand and identify defects automatically, even if you have different new products. In our opinion, this is the future,” said Ringressi.
He demonstrated that the software was capable of identifying hard-to-spot defects on lipsticks individually.
The software can detect defects such as pinholes, scratches, and contaminations on various parts of the lipstick, including the tip, stick, neck and mechanism.
It is able to do so using semantic segmentation of the parts of the lipstick to identify every possible flaw “pixel by pixel”.
“This is possible though a deep-learning procedure where we created a big data set with all the lipstick information,” said Ringressi.
Moving forward, Ringressi said that the company will utilise the AI technology for other cosmetic categories.
Established in 1995, SEA Vision is a subsidiary of Italian firm Marchesini Group, which develops packaging machines and lines for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
The firm first debuted A-Eye Lipstick in March this year at Cosmpack in Bologna, Italy.
SEA Vision was at Cosmopack Asia in Hong Kong to explore opportunities in the Asia Pacific market.
A-Eye Lipstick was the winner of the Innovative Technology category at the Cosmopack Asia Awards.
“We are very happy to win the prize because it’s an effort of three years. The journey during the pandemic was very difficult. It was difficult to move forward because nobody was using lipstick at the time. This award represents all the efforts of me and my team. We will try to invest and improve the product for lipstick and more products across the spectrum,” said Ringressi.