2D code reading on medical products

During the manufacture and packaging of sutures, it must be ensured the products and leaflets included match.

During the manufacture and packaging of sutures, it must be ensured the products and leaflets included match. Incorrect mixing of products must be reliably avoided. For this purpose the batch number in a 2D code on the product packaging must be compared with the order number on a sheet of paper with product information. Safety aspects, quality requirements as well as the traceability of each production batch make 100% inspection necessary.

The manufacturer of medical products decided to use the SICK ICR 850 data matrix reader. During the packaging process, the sutures are placed in a packaging tray. Before the sheet of paper with the product information is placed on top, ICR 850s read the data matrix code on the product. The code contains part of the batch number that is then compared with the current order code. If the codes match, the sheet of paper with the product information is placed on top. This check ensures any incorrect mixing of products on the packaging line is detected at an early stage and the use of incorrect data sheets prevented.

Using the ICR 850, a solution that is not only reliable, but also particularly easy to use is achieved. At the start of the packaging order, the reader is automatically taught the related order match code: the ICR 850s can be rapidly prepared for use. The devices are connected the machine PLC over Profibus using CDM 420 fieldbus gateways. The use of this proven function block ensured smooth data exchange from the start. In operation, various diagnostic information from the ICR 850 are displayed on an industrial PC. Teaching, match code, codes read, no reads, error messages as well as diagnostics can be viewed directly on site by the machine operator.

This is an application From SICK

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of SICK in Wisconsin.  For more information, contact Tri-Phase Automation Sales or Get A Quote

DataMan ID reader used on cheese products

Unrivaled 2D code readability through a tough processing environment

A customer success story from Cognex

Het Kaasmerk b.v in the Netherlands is using a DataMan® ID reader to read the codes marked on individual blocks of cheese. The cheese mark with the 2D code is applied to the cheese at as early a stage of the production process as possible.The code is made from casein (a protein particular to cheese) and is therefore edible. This 2D code is not however immune to damage, as it undergoes the same treatment as the cheese itself during the production process. Pickling (salt bath) and coating (application of a paraffin or plastic layer) can cause significant damage. The mark can often become distorted as a result of the puffing up of the cheese.

The applied code functions as a veritable passport. In the past, these codes consisted of regular text which had many disadvantages. Isotron Systems and Het Kaasmerk B.V. therefore sat down together and jointly introduced the 2D dot matrix codes to cheese producers. They improved the contrast and cell size of the 2D code on the cheese marks.

Jeroen van der Meulen adds, “We opted for the Cognex In-Sight® ID reader in a waterproof casing. The implementation of the patented IDMax® algorithm also enables unclear, damaged and distorted codes to be read without difficulty. The codes must remain legible during the distribution and sales phases. To this end we provide portable readers: the DataMan 7500 series with its unique lighting source and IDMax with which highly irregular codes can be read. This provides a solution for new, young, and old cheeses. This solution offers 100 percent certainty. It is after all in-acceptable for a code to be misread or that a reader indicates a different code than what is written on the cheese mark. This solution is 100 percent waterproof and counterfeit proof,” he concludes.

Recommended Product: Cognex DataMan 8600

Tri-Phase Automation is a Cognex distributor in Wisconsin. We offer machine vision evaluations and technical support to help our customers solve their applications.

Vision system key to new serialization solution for pharmaceutical manufacturers

cognex-serializationIn order to improve product traceability, prevent counterfeiting and isolate the source and extent of safety and quality control problems, Marlton, NJ-based supply chain software and services provider Acsis worked with Cognex to respond to the emerging serialization mandates and requirements facing their pharmaceutical industry clients. Acsis and Cognex delivered a serialized packaging data management (SPDM) solution designed to convert demand from the pharmaceutical manufacturer’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in order to drive individual packaging lines and production cells.

Serialization using SPDM is introduced throughout the manufacturing and packaging process by integrating with existing equipment. Smart camera vision systems such as the Cognex In-Sight 5605® 5MP are a small, but critical component used extensively in the serialization solution, not only to validate the presence, accuracy, and readability of the various labels, but also to ensure product safety and package integrity.

“The Acsis SPDM solution is currently an extension to our ProductTrak for Life Sciences solution that is installed at several major pharmaceutical companies,” Acsis Chief Technology Officer John DiPalo said. “This extension of the solution into the packaging area provides a cost-effective and easy-to-implement way to incorporate data serialization into new and existing packaging lines while maintaining existing machine speed and quality. Cognex vision systems play a critical role in our SPDM solution by providing a compact, fast, and accurate method of reading and verifying the quality of 2-D barcodes.”

Read the full customer success story
Vision system key to new serialization solution for pharmaceutical manufacturers


ID Readers Enable Part Traceability of Direct Part Mark Products

cognex-id-reader-enables-part-tracebility-of-direct-part-mark-productWhen Canadian energy services company Packers Plus needed to read challenging dot peened codes on a variety of parts, they specified Cognex® DataMan® handheld ID readers. The company’s StackFRAC® system consists of many parts, each marked with a unique 2D Data Matrix code that enables traceability throughout its useful life.

Traceability delivers two important benefits for Packers Plus. First, it reduces rework costs by providing better manufacturing process control and ensuring that the right parts are used at every stage of production. Second, it enables Packers Plus to quickly retrieve information on 100% of the parts in every system that has been shipped out their door, including production history and quality control information.

In the past, Packers Plus manually recorded information such as lot numbers, heat numbers, quality control measurements and other information in a spreadsheet. “This was a very time-consuming manual process that took approximately four hours for each product, so we only did it when necessary,” said Marlon Leggott, Director of Manufacturing for Packers Plus. “Another problem with the manual process is that it is susceptible to mistakes, such as data entry errors.”

Selecting marking and reading tools

Packers Plus considered a number of different options for improving traceability when it installed its new ERP system. Kurtis Weber of iTech Tool Technology helped Packers Plus design the traceability solution. “We looked at labels with standard line bar codes but determined they would have to come off during assembly, which would negate many of the advantages of serialization,” Weber said. “RFID tags don’t work well with various metal parts because of interference with reading and writing the tags. Laser marking overcomes all of these problems but laser marking machines begin at $50,000 and have to be enclosed — which causes problems when used to mark large pieces — and cannot easily be moved from place to place. We recommended a dot peen marking system because it is permanent, does not rely on fragile RF transmissions, costs only about $10,000 per machine, and is available in fixed or mobile models. The mobility allows us to easily move around the plant and successfully mark any size part in a variety of orientations.” With dot peen marking, a carbide or diamond-tipped stylus pneumatically or electromechanically strikes the material surface.

Packers Plus then faced the difficult challenge of reading the marked parts. The challenge arises from the fact that Packers Plus makes parts with curved surfaces and many different materials and coating combinations. Nearly any reader can be adjusted to provide perfect accuracy on a particular combination but Packers Plus wanted a reader that could deliver high levels of accuracy on any part. “We recommended Cognex DataMan handheld readers because they adjust the lighting to match the part and use the industry’s most  advanced algorithm  for picking out the 2D Data Matrix code from the background,” Weber said. “This is the only product I have seen that is capable of accurately reading the wide range of parts used by Packers Plus.” 

Read More:

ID Readers Enable Part Traceability for Direct Part Marked Products