Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Not the whole story

Interesting article from Cognex on the pages of BioPhotonics magazine. “Vision Inspection Systems Keep Meds Safe” (February 2012) discusses the use of vision systems in pharmaceutical applications, particularly with regard to label verification.

The article discusses the use of cameras to read 2D Datamatrix codes, but in my humble opinion, there’s one significant omission. In my view, no discussion of code reading is complete without a few words addressing the difference between reading and verification.

Now I realize Cognex may argue that the application they describe is purely internal and there is no need for a customer to be able to reproduce the read result. That may be so, but I think it’s important that anyone exploring options for 2D code reading understands these issues. Just because you can read the code you’ve applied, it doesn’t follow that it is a good – machine readable – code. And without verification based upon industry standards, should a customer complain about legibility you get in to one of those “mine’s better than yours” arguments.

I have addressed this before – “Verifying datamatrix codes” (October 2011,) so if you have any interest in learning more, I suggest you click the link.

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