New code reading solutions from Strelen Control Systems realise the sophisticated evaluation of tiny codes within very large fields of view using high-resolution cameras from SVS-Vistek with up to 151 megapixels.
Machine-readable codes are an essential part of quality inspection and product tracking in many industries. Machine vision, as the basic technology for reading codes, is succeeding in further optimising inspection processes in terms of speed, precision and readability of data. The cameras used play a key role here, for example when data and characters are printed in the most space-saving way possible as miniaturised codes on ever smaller packaging or directly on the product.
First challenge: miniaturised codes
Miniaturised codes are barely recognisable as such to the naked eye. The image processing and automation experts at Stelen Control Systems have developed a solution that can read up to 100 of these miniaturised codes simultaneously per second. One-dimensional or two-dimensional codes are found and decoded regardless of their placement on a packaging or product surface. High-speed cameras of the EXO, HR and SHR series from SVS-Vistek are used for this purpose. Depending on the specific application, SVS-Vistek cameras are available with resolutions from 1.9 to 151 megapixels. The cameras detect the miniaturised codes and read them reliably even if they are far apart within a large field of view. With the fast interface for data transmission, up to 300 codes can be captured offline at once and read in parallel and up to 100 packages per second can be inspected during a packaging process. Integrated software technology also locates codes with a great variety in quality, which have been applied at an angle, or which are badly damaged, difficult to detect and have low contrast.
Second challenge: varying package sizes
A general challenge in code reading is the often not equally defined working distance to the camera. For example, containers may be filled to different heights or the working distance between multiple products on a production line may vary. SVS-Vistek’s cameras are equipped with real-time autofocus that ensures a high depth of field at any distance. This allows the system to compensate for different package sizes depending on the brand and product. For non-moving scenes, corresponding code readers have an integrated assistance system that counts, documents, processes and interprets the code data. Through standardised interfaces, data can thus be prepared for exchange in accordance with the Anti-Counterfeiting Directive (2011/62/EU), for example in the pharmaceutical industry. SVS-Vistek also offers suitable cameras for moving objects with a resolution of 25 megapixels, which cope well with fluctuating working distances.
Complete code-reading system
With the help of the wide range of cameras from SVS-Vistek, Strelen Control Systems has developed a number of code-reading solutions to handle as many problems as possible at once. In addition, the system manufacturer benefits from the extensive I/O concept and the high reliability of the agreed delivery times for the SVS-Vistek cameras developed and manufactured in Germany. One of the possible system variants is a complete system with an integrated single-camera solution. Shipping and logistics containers with printed codes are placed under the camera for inspection, with the autofocus adjusting to the different packaging formats. A monitor provides a clear control panel with configuration and work aids that guide the user step-by-step through the inspection process. In addition to an established 20-megapixel solution, both offline and inline OEM versions are available for easy integration into transport systems or stationary environments. Thanks to the flexibility of Strelen code reading solutions, use is possible in a wide range of industrial markets, such as factory automation, automotive, semiconductors, food and beverage, printing and paper, pharmaceutical industries, traffic, logistics and transport, and several more.
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