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OCR - code reading and verification for product tracking

CJ Food System monitor showing OCR software application

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CJ Food System, Korea, focuses primarily on the distribution of food materials for business, contract food services and the supply of raw material commodities to the food processing industry. Leaders in the realm of the contract food service business, they serve varied institutional sectors including schools, offices, business and hospitals. The Incheon plant of CJ Food System, produces both raw and subsidiary food materials as well as finished food products. The company needed to ensure reliable tracking of their products during a high speed process and thus CJ Food looked to vision technology for the solution.

Tracking and stacking in a difficult production environment

Mass production plus high standards of food hygiene are key elements of CJ Food System’s business. Trustworthy product tracking and data management of the manufacturing and distribution process is critical. In the case of the feed mills, the working conditions of the mill are difficult with extreme seasonal temperatures and high levels of dust and noise. A code of four characters is printed on the feed packaging. Robots stack the feed bags once the codes have been inspected and verified. In this kind of setting reliable character reading is essential to the data management process. The right products need to be stacked for their correct distribution destinations. OCR-Original character recognition in this kind of reading environment requires a resistant industrial solution.

In-Sight from Cognex: the robust solution

After discussion with various vision providers, CJ Food System found the answer with the assistance of Gyro System, a Cognex system integrator. CJ Food is now relying upon In-Sight® vision systems from Cognex to assure the code reading and verification of their feed products. The cameras guide the robots ensuring the right products are stacked for distribution. Competitor products proved to be unreliable in such a challenging industrial environment. The In-Sight vision system is fully robust, meets IP-67 specifications and is resistant in difficult conditions. Character recognition and the subsequent data retrieval contribute to a seamless management of information ensuring trustworthy tracking of the production process.

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