CEERI Centre, Chennai, is a pioneering institution in developing indigenous technologies for the automation of Indian process industries. As the regional centre of Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute, Pilani, the Centre had a humble beginning in 1974 and got transformed into a full-fledged R&D Centre in 1979. The Centre has developed many novel automation systems using state-of-art techniques for pulp & paper, food, leather, chemical and plastic industries. Later, the Centre has ventured into the development of machine vision systems for societal needs. The designs adopt the latest advancements in specialized areas such as image processing, fiber-optic and near-infrared instrumentation towards better quality management and value addition to Indian industrial produce.
To develop as Centre of Excellence in Process Control Instrumentation for Agro-based and Traditional Industries.
Pulp & Paper Industry
Off-Line Systems: Moisture Gauge, GSM (Grammage) Gauge, Brightness/Colour Tester, Tensile Strength Tester, Paper Formation Analyzer. Paper Dirt Speck Analyser.
On-Line Systems: Low Consistency Monitor, Stock Consistency Monitor, ‘C’ Frame
Instrumentation for GSM & Moisture, ‘O’ Frame Scanner for GSM, Moisture & Thickness, On-line Control for GSM & Moisture, On-line Freeness Tester.
Food Processing Industry: Vibrotone – Vacuum testing of sealed cans filled with processed foods (NRDC Independence Day Invention Award for the year 1983), Viscosity Transmitter for the sugar industry, On-line Brix Meter, Automation of Rubber Roll Sheller.
Plastics Industry: On-line Co-extruded Blown Film Thickness Measurement System, Infra-gauge with ‘O’ Frame Scanner for Cast Film, Plastic Waste Sorter for recycling.
Chemical & Leather Industries: Autobas –Testing of Battery Separators, Leather Area Measuring Machine, Digital Corrosion Monitor, Tanmate – Leather Tanning Automation System.
The Centre has a well-equipped optics laboratory for the development of electro-optical systems, DSP and FPGA lab and rapid prototyping environment for the development of electronic systems hardware and firmware, latest high-resolution CCD cameras & workstations with advanced imaging and computing software/hardware to develop machine vision technologies for on-line inspection and grading. The Centre has excellent workshop, CAD & drafting facilities to cater to the needs of the R & D activities.
Human Resources and Training
A group of dedicated scientists and technical personnel form the core scientific team of CEERI Centre to keep it vibrant and adapt to fast-changing technological developments. The Centre provides practical training to undergraduate and postgraduate students from various universities and leading academic institutions. The Centre conducts training workshops and courses in emerging scientific fields for the benefit of professionals, engineering students, and faculty.
The Centre has an excellent rapport with many process industries, other research institutes within and outside CSIR, academic institutions, universities, professional bodies, foreign institutes, etc., which helps in gathering domain knowledge and expert opinion towards achieving the set goals of the various R&D activities.
CSIR Network Task Force Programme
The Centre is engaged in a programme of national importance viz., CSIR Network Task Force activity on the development of ‘Electro-optical systems for grading & sorting of vegetable, fruits & rice’, jointly with CSIO ( Chandigarh ) & CMERI ( Durgapur ). The program aims at developing an integrated apple grading and sorting system based on their colour, size & shape. The Centre is a major contributor to this project by way of developing all the electronic imaging systems and complete software.
Supra Institutional Project – Technology Development for Smart Systems
Real-time systems require that decisions be taken quickly, which mean data & signal processing are carried out in faster time frames. The Centre is hence setting up facilities for embedded system development, under the above supra-institutional project with funding from CSIR. The program aims at developing image processing based smart systems for sorting and grading of fruits, plastic waste, and bakery products. Apart from the four activities of 1) Trials and industrial demonstration of prototype for apple sorting/grading machine, 2) Development of sorting and grading machine for mango, citrus, etc., 3) Trials and industrial demonstration of biscuit inspection system, 4) Acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF) based near-infrared spectrophotometer, a common activity, which involves identifying & setting up of development facilities for ARM series microcomputer/FPGA&DSP based system development and taking up embedded software development for the above activities towards building prototypes/systems, is also included under this program.
The Centre has taken up a programme which concentrates on the grading of mangoes based on their colour, size, and shape. This programme is sponsored by the National Horticulture Board, Gurgaon and has an industrial partner, M/s. Stayfresh, Mumbai, who has supplied the mechanical conveying and sorting system.
The Centre has teamed up with RDCIS, SAIL to execute a collaborative R & D project to develop a system for on-line surface inspection of hot rolled steel strips, which is funded by DIT. The developed machine vision based surface inspection system will be installed at Bokaro Steel Plant for user industry field trials.
The Centre has teamed up with M/s.Elico Ltd., (A leading analytical manufacturing company) located in Hyderabad for a joint R&D project on “Process Analytical Technology (PAT) Methods Development for Standardization in Pharmaceutical Industry” sponsored by Department of Science & Technology, New Delhi. The objectives of this programme are to i) develop versatile online methods for Process Analytical Technology in Pharma for (1) Raw Material Compliance (2) Standardization of unit processes viz. Granulation and Drying, by using suitably configured NIR spectrometer with fiber optic sample probes, ii) to work closely with associated pharma industry to make provision for installation of NIR spectrometer in unit processes namely granulation & drying for model building and validations, iii) to improve current GMP methods for granulation and drying unit processes using online information from NIR spectrometer with F.O probe inserted in the process to improve product quality and yield, reduce scrap and increase speed of analysis and iv) to investigate appropriate pre-processing techniques and apply for model building using various chemometric methods for qualitative/Quantitative Analysis. A MoU was signed with M/s. Elico Ltd., Hyderabad.
The Centre and Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore have jointly teamed up with M/s.Kaleesuwari Refineries Ltd., Chennai, in an R&D project on “Development of NIR based on-line instrument for quality assessment in Edible Oil Industry” sponsored by Department of Science & Technology, New Delhi. The project work will consist of (1) Capturing of Spectral Data for selective edible oils, in selective process segment area (2) Chemical analysis of selective edible oils for PV, FFA and chemical marker compound composition and (3) Application of chemometric techniques for pre-processing, methods, model building, prediction and validation for the PV, FFA and marker compound composition. A MoU was signed with the user industry M/s. Kaleesuwari Refineries Ltd., Chennai.
The Centre has developed an image analysis based system – Herbas, for the authentication of certain herbal plant raw material in collaboration with IICT, Hyderabad and Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal. The system captures the image of the cross section of the stem using a trinocular microscope with a CCD camera and the software offers several capabilities for the user to authenticate the plant for it’s medicinal use. The system is used currently in Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal.
Another programme, which is very much useful in solid waste management, is the development of an on-line sorter to segregate different types of plastics coming from a pile of plastic waste collected. This helps in easy management of such waste for recycling. The Ministry of Environment & Forests, New Delhi has funded this project and laboratory level bench model system has been demonstrated to senior officials of Ministry and other stakeholders.
The project on “Paper dirt speck analyzer”, to design and develop a PC based imaging system to analyse dirt speck and pinholes in paper samples using image analysis has been successfully completed and a prototype has been tested at a paper industry.
The Centre has completed the project on “Development of on-line mango sorting system using soft x-ray imaging”, sponsored by Dept. of Science & Technology, New Delhi by developing a soft X-ray imaging based technology for analyzing export variety mangoes for internal disorders and rejecting the infected ones by using a suitable conveyor arrangement.
Vision of CEERI Centre, Chennai
The Centre has ambitious plans to develop near-infrared instrumentation, electro optical and machine vision system technologies for quality assessment/assurance, grading, sorting of a variety of agricultural/horticultural products and processed foods to help in reducing wastage, optimize energy usage, enhance productivity, value addition and compete in global markets. Plans are afoot for application of near infrared spectroscopy and chemometrics to evolve standardization and classification of herbal, pharmaceutical, edible oil and such products for their quality and authenticity.
Also, the Centre takes up sponsored, collaborative, grant-in-aid projects under contract research & development from private and government agencies for the development of instrumentation systems at an affordable cost. Apart from this, the Centre undertakes consultancy projects and technical services to fulfill the specific needs of the industries in its areas of expertise.
Areas of Expertise
- Machine Vision Technologies
- Advanced Image Processing Solutions
- Process Automation Systems
- Customized Quality Control Systems
- Advanced Photonic Sensor (including NIR) Technologies
- Digital Signal Processing Solutions
- Integrated Total Quality Management Systems
- Test & Measurement Systems for Process Industries