Inside the Cognex booth was a live demo of an inspection system that uses an “Xpand25” mirror array and bar-style light source to read bar codes and check for label defects as boxes are conveyed at high speeds. The setup featured the company’s DataMan 503 high-speed logistics bar code reader. I was told by product marketing specialist Matt Angstadt that while the demo was operating at a blazing speed of 500 feet per minute, they have run the system up to 600 fpm. He said that Cognex can install systems capable of inspecting up to 5 sides of a box and are working on one that can inspect all 6 sides including the bottom.
The system included Cognex Explorer Real Time Monitoring (RTM) that automatically evaluates each captured image and categorizes them into groups such as packages with “no label present” or packages with “poorly printed labels.” Categorized images are stored in a database and accessible for future viewing through any device with a web browser.