What Are You Inspecting?

Packaging verification is essential for protecting businesses from liability issues. Learn more to understand how Sensors can help by providing our expertise and knowledge. 

Using 1D or 2D barcode scanners, we verify that the correct product is in the correct package.
Using vision-based OCR readers, we validate the "best if used by" date and the lot number for traceability.
Using pattern recognition algorithms, we validate the correct product is in the correct package.
Control Reliable Inspection Systems (CRIS) with Allen Bradley PLC and speed compensated reject.

Inspection Problems & Solutions

With over 25 years of product verification experience, Sensors has encountered countless different permutations and possibilities of potential errors that we have solved by using multiple automated inspection systems. We are very proud of our systems and have enough experience to anticipate the worst case scenario and solve those issues before they even occur. Scroll down to learn more about our application expertise.

Our Inspection Systems

Barcode Reading & Product Verification

What is Barcode Verification & why is it important?

  • Barcode verification is the process of ensuring the correct barcode is on the correct product using automatic scanning systems. It is the most direct and concise approach for product verification.
  • Almost every product/package has a barcode making it the most reliable way to verify the correct products.

Barcode Solution Example

  • Problem:
    • A bottling company was concerned because sometimes the wrong labels get applied to a bottle. They wanted an automatic system that could read the barcode on the label and verify the correct label was on the correct package.
  • Solution:
    • We used a Cognex Dataman 374 with an onboard torch light to read the UPC barcode on the bottle label. This camera provided a positive match signal for each correct bottle passing the inspection zone. By using the Sensors CRIS Compact, one of our inspection systems, we track and trace product changeover and time and date stamp any errors that occur.

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Date Code & Lot Code Verification Using OCR

What is Date/Lot Code Verification using OCR & why is it important?

  • Date and lot codes are used to track when a product was manufactured and its identification number.
  • Clear and readable date and lot codes allow manufacturers to track and trace products in the event of a product recall.
  • OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is used to identify and/or validate each individual letter or number in a text string.
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Date & Lot Code Using OCR Solution Example

  • Problem:
    • A packaging company is handling the packaging for a globally popular trading card game system. Using card feeders, the company packages sets of the cards into card deck boxes to be distributed around the world.

      Because the cards are shipped to so many nationalities, it is critical to verify that the correct language version is put into the correct packaging.  The potential for mistakes from hand-sorting is high.  For example, a machine operator in the United States is unlikely to be able to differentiate between Mandarin Chinese and Japanese characters, increasing the possibility that a Japanese card is shipped in a box labeled in Chinese.

      A Sales Engineer from Sensors Integration talked through the application with them.  They needed something that could verify the cards at high speeds and stop the feeder when an incorrect card was discovered, and they needed it delivered quickly. 

  • Solution:
    • To accommodate their time constraints, Sensors Integration delivered the reader components first, allowing the company to run product with some assurance of verification.  A few weeks later, the verification panel was commissioned.  Not only was the system able to meet their speed requirements, it exceeded them.  Using the datalogging feature in the CRIS, the company also discovered that the frequency of incorrect cards was much higher than they realized.  Based on that feedback they were able to modify their process to minimize the errors.

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Graphic & Pattern Based Verification

What is Graphic & Pattern Based Verification & why is it important?

  • Graphic and Pattern Based verification involves using a camera to teach patterns on specific products in order to verify them. It can be complementary with barcode verification.
  • Manufacturers can create aesthetically pleasing products without the usage of barcode verification.
  • Key points are identified as blue dots.
  • Key points show up in areas of interest with differential contrast on product or label packaging.
  • Key points create a fingerprint/thumbprint of this product SKU.
  • When a barcode can't be seen by the inspection camera, key points are used to positively identify product or label packaging.

Graphic & Pattern Based Solution Example

  • Problem:
    • For food manufacturers, it is essential that the process of product inspection is fast. A customer was having trouble inspecting yet differentiating similar products such as different flavors of the same yogurt cup.
  • Solution:
    • We used a pattern match technology which allowed us to create a fingerprint where it looked at a smaller portion of the label with specific data points allowing for quicker inspection and the ability to differentiate very similar products.
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