Automated inspection and verification of date markings and other printed information on your packaging
Food packaging contains variable information such as best before date, expiration date and pack date. All are important to verify as each date serves an important purpose.
Date information is typically printed on packaging using an ink jet printer, which means nozzles issues, incorrect printer settings or other printer issues can make date information more difficult to read or cause the print to be positioned incorrectly.
TriVision has developed a print inspection functionality which ensures that all packed food products contain visible and correct best before date, expiration date and pack date – without causing any false ejections.
TriVision's print inspection utilizes the advantages of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Optical Character Verification (OCV) while eliminating the disadvantage: false ejections.
Operators know the typical challenges of OCR and OCV; lacking flexibility and extremely low tolerance to variations in the print cause too many rejections of good products with a printing acceptable to the human eye. A product with a slightly tilted or slightly brighter date marking will be rejected, even if the date marking is correct, readable and positioned correctly.
As these minor deviations must be expected with the printers used today, using standard OCR and OCV solutions for automated print inspection will result in many good products being rejected and in unnecessary food loss, waste and costs for the manufacturer.
Without causing unnecessarily rejected products, TriVision's print inspection ensures that all date markings are correct, legible and correctly positioned.
Only products with date markings of unacceptable quality are rejected, as our technology combines the features of classic OCR and OCV with specific print quality analysis in an intelligent way, allowing us to work with several tolerances.
Date markings are often printed on transparent foil when manufacturers of packed food products such as salads, fruits and meat want to maximize the visibility of the product and show its freshness to consumers. As the use of labels, coloured foil and cardboard is limited, the date is often printed on the transparent foil.
Machine vision is widely used for print inspection, but many machine vision systems cannot inspect dates printed on transparent foil consistently. The inspection becomes challenging as the date marking has no solid background, but a background with variation, e.g. a salad with uneven structure and many colors. This results in a lack of contrast, making it difficult to thoroughly read and verify the date marking.
TriVision has developed an advanced print inspection method that can verify date markings on transparent foil correctly and consistently despite of these challenging conditions. TriVision's machine vision system VisioPointer® comes with this unique print inspection functionality.
Both TriVision's VisioPointer® and SmartInspector® are possible solutions for manufacturers that need a efficient, reliable print inspection system. Both come with additional inspection types and functionalities. SmartInspector®'s compact design makes it easy to install on top of an existing production line's conveyor belt. VisioPointer® comes with its own built-in conveyor belt, ejector and additional print inspection options.
Discover both systems and find the right quality control system for your food production lines.
Want to know how we can inspect your packages' barcodes? Send us a message, and one of our vision experts will reach out to you as fast as possible!