JULY 25--Accu-Sort Systems (Telford, PA; www.accusort.com), a provider of automation systems, has entered into a product-development agreement with Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA; www.cognex.com). Under the agreement, Cognex will develop new machine-vision products to be used by Accu-Sort to automatically acquire images of packages moving by at high speeds on materials-handling lines and then analyze those images to perform a variety of tasks. For example, these new systems will be used for determining various physical package features, positioning, OCR, OCV and pattern matching.
The materials-handling industry has historically used laser scanning systems to read barcode labels on products and packages to track them through manufacturing, warehousing, and shipping processes. However, the industry is increasingly turning to the use of video-camera-based scanning technology because it can provide additional information on the products that cannot be included in linear or two-dimensional barcodes. Video scanning systems are capable of "seeing" the entire product or package--not just the barcode label. With this added information, the scanner can even check the condition of the package or product to ensure that it is not damaged.