Reliable Examination of Labels
Single-dose packages, bottles, cans, and many other packaging units require mandatory quality controls. Mixed up label rolls are a horror scenario for anyone in food production. Visual controls of the products take up a lot of time and human ressources. Despite dual control systems transposed digits or careless mistakes are still a looming risk. And such errors can cause expensive claims or even require a product recall. Current developments in digital image processing and artificial intelligence open up new, efficient and reliable ways of monitoring.
Prevent and Avoid Overproduction Easily
It can happen so quickly that the wrong labels wind up on a product – they may even identify the product correctly, but unfortunately in the wrong language. Since many companies export all across Europe or even worldwide, the same labels are usually available in different languages. But, not every employee is able to recognize every language immediately and without a doubt! Errors during the loading process of the packaging machines are therefore pre-programmed. These are often noticed only after numerous batches have already been produced – with expensive consequences. An inline inspection of each individual product could be a solution, but this poses a challenge due to the large variety of different packaging. If the inline system has to adapt to stretch films, cardboard boxes, tubular bags, cans, paper composites, vacuum packs or glass, the complexity and the costs increase disproportionately. Additionally, the labels of packagings of piece good are also often curved and not machine-readable. But digital image processing offers an innovative solution.
No Inline Inspection Necessary
With Safe-Ident Label, Strelen Control Systems has developed a tried and tested system that is already being used successfully in industry. Safe-Ident Label quickly and reliably checks label data for presence, correctness, legibility and completeness. The products do not have to be tested inline with this process. Instead all necessary labels or films of a product are placed on a test sheet, which is then compared with the stored sample sheet in the database. The hardware used is a standard table scanner using up very little space. Highly developed and powerful software based on artificial intelligence enables the collection and processing of complex data. Beforehand, the software is taught any desired range of products. The user can define various features, such as font, barcodes or data matrix codes. All types of labels, including outer packaging labels, are recognized in the inspection process and all identification numbers, codes, lot numbers and best-before dates are compared with the stored data record. At the same time, a log with documentation is created. If the software registers an error, production is not released and the responsible employee is informed. This prevents incorrect label or film rolls which have been accidentally picked from stock from being processed in production. The error can therefore be rectified before damage is done.
Safe-Ident Label evaluates the collected data regardless of content or language. If employees are not 100% sure about the language or script or cannot at first glance distinguish between similar languages (such as Polish and Czech) and fonts (such as Cyrillic or Greek), Safe-Ident Label identifies the corresponding language directly. A neural network is used for character recognition. Safe-Ident Label comes with an extensive database of already learned fonts and scripts that can be identified and read right from the start.
Picture Credits: © iStock /AlexandrBognat, iStock /Pinkypills, iStock /Baloncici, Strelen