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Brewery ups barcode read rates on keg weighing machine

Fairfield Labels, a Cognex Automation Solutions Provider, has been chosen by Everards Brewery to develop a system to identify and weigh its beer kegs during production. Fairfield designed a system based on Procon software interfacing with the Keg Weigher combined with the Cognex DataMan 500 industrial ID reader.

The system scans each filled keg as it passes on a conveyor. The keg is identified by its barcode to identify its tare weight (recorded earlier in the process when empty). The keg is then weighed and the tare weight subtracted to calculate the exact weight of the beer. The information is communicated to the keg weigh software to capture the filled weight of the keg.

The process of kegging brings significant challenges for capturing and recording barcode information. As kegs are reused regularly, the barcodes do become significantly damaged while being transported and when in use in pub cellars.

The DataMan 500 achieves 98 per cent read rates, a huge increase on its laser scanner previously used to read the ID barcodes. Graham Armston, engineering team leader at Everards Brewery, commented: ‘The DataMan 500 provides fantastic read accuracy. It reads codes that we did not expect any reader would be able to read. The amount of data we now collect enables us to continue to comply with the Weights and Measures Act much more comprehensively.’

The DataMan 500 has no moving parts, which means less chance of downtime due to mechanical faults. The advanced algorithm enables poor quality and damaged codes to be read and the DataMan 500 is also easy to use and set up.


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