Barcode scanners

Electronic Inspectors are applied also to read and cross-check data printed on labels or etched on PET bottles and caps, like:

  • barcodes, 
  • prints,
  • Best-Before-Date (BBD).

Solutions, prices and technologies depend on the particular ambient where the application is thinked (in-the-labeller machine or along the conveyor in case of barcodes’ detection) and also on what has to be detected.   

  A label conveys several informations.  Between them: the production date & time (top, 29.05.13  23:52), the best-before-date (29.05.14) and the barcode

If what has to be detected is:

  • a print, like the ink-jet print on PET bottle visible in the upper and lower figures, they have to be installed immediately after the Printer.  This way, a malfunction of the Printer allows its automatic immediate stop, minimising the amount of non-printed containers;
  • the presence of BBD (or, other print on a label), but not the data or their correctness, the simplest and cheap solution resides in a sensor installed directly in the Labeller machine;
  • the content, the significance of a text or barcode, typically compared with a reference one, the solution has to be based on CCD or CMOS cameras along the conveyor or, in the Labeler machine.

Ink-jet print of the best-before-date directly over a PET bottle shoulder.  In this case, milk filled in aseptic conditions    

Code inspection at the conveyor (360º)

BBD, barcodes and prints are recognized along the conveyor by mean of the application of a single-camera systems immediately after the Printer device.   If codes resides on labels, it has to be (mechanically) assured the their constant orientation.

Barcode, BBD or print detection with camera at the conveyor

Bottles’ constant orientation on a conveyor is rarely observed.  It is easy to imagine how the relevance of this factor when trying to inspect barcode, BBD or print when containers are moving along a conveyor.   Then, cheap systems base on single cameras are replaced by more expensive systems based on multiple-cameras.   These last cover the entire 360º external surface of the bottle, assuring a correct inspection also on populations of containers whose rotation angle ranges until the extremal 360º.

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