A clear Vision for high-efficiency tube-filling lines
Camera-based verification is one of the easiest, most effective ways to monitor the product quality in your tube filling line. Vision systems can help you
- Read and identify different codes
- Improve quality control by identifying bad tubes, particles inside the tube etc
- Facilitate track-and-trace on each individual product
Reading and verifying printed codes in the tube filling line
Code readers do precisely what their name implies: they verify that the code on every tube is correct and readable, so the right tube gets matched with the right product, and then in the next step with the right leaflet and the right carton. This process is very common in the pharmaceutical industry. Readers can be installed on new tube-filling or carton machines or retrofit to existing machines.
OCV or OCR stands for Optical Character Verification or Optical Character Reading and refers to a system that verifies what you have printed online on the tube as part of the filling and sealing process. OCV and/or OCR are mostly used to verify alphanumeric codes such as expiry date and LOT number printed by an inkjet or laser printer.
The three most common types of codes
- The 1D pharma code, or barcode: This code is used to identify products. It is directional and cannot be scanned from a bowed surface.
- The 2D Datamatrix code: The new industry standard, this code offers better readability and more data storage than the pharma code. The Vision system can learn to read it even if it’s slightly damaged.
- The 2D QR code: This consumer-oriented code often contains Web site data and other commercial information.
Readers for these codes can be installed on new tube-filling or carton machines or retrofit to existing machines.
Here are some smart, but simple ways to optimize the Vision system’s performance in your filling line:
- Use an easy-to-read font
Each character should be unique, to avoid confusing “zero” with “O,” or accidentally interchanging other letters.
- Use upper case letters
Upper Case letters are easier for the camera to read.
- Maintain a “quiet zone”
A clear area surrounding the product code will make it easier for the camera to read.
- Use high-contrast colors
Contrast is easier for the camera to find and read, minimizing errors.