Chemical company uses machine vision to improve traceability

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A global chemical manufacturer based in France is using machine vision to improve the traceability of its products via datamatrix barcodes. The barcodes are used to link bottles of chemical to cases and cases to pallets at high speed. The customer processes millions of bottles every year.

The system, built by Matrix Systems and Solutions, prints serial datamatrix barcodes with an inkjet printer on top of the bottles at a high speed rate. The bottles are then randomly picked up by a robot and packed into a case. The open case travels down the conveyor and passes under the Prosilica GE4900 camera to read and aggregate all serial numbers in order to generate an associated case ID. The same logic then applies to tying cases to pallets for optimum traceability.

The datamatrix codes were difficult to read due to varying depth of field on the bottles, reflective caps and poorly printed codes that were randomly skewed. The Prosilica GE4900 (monochrome model) was used to accurately read the very small micron datamatrix code. The GE4900 is Prosilica's highest resolution camera offering 16 Megapixels. The camera incorporates high-quality Kodak KAI-16000 CCD image sensor to provide high resolution and excellent sensitivity, which was needed for this application.

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