Cognex expands vision-sensor capabilities

SEPTEMBER 26--Cognex Corp. (Natick, MA; www.cognex.com) has added high-performance optical-character-verification (OCV) and optical-character-recognition (OCR) software tools to its In-Sight vision-sensor products.

SEPTEMBER 26--Cognex Corp. (Natick, MA; www.cognex.com) has added high-performance optical-character-verification (OCV) and optical-character-recognition (OCR) software tools to its In-Sight vision-sensor products. The new tools provide verification and reading reliability in a low-cost, compact package. The OCV tool will verify the correctness and legibility of printed characters in date and lot codes on pharmaceutical package labels and expiration dates on containers in the food and beverage industry, for example. The OCR tool will enable companies to improve product traceability by automatically reading alphanumeric codes on items ranging from automotive airbag components to financial documents.

The new tools utilize advanced recognition algorithms to verify and read printed character strings despite a number of challenging conditions. For example, the tools can process strings containing unevenly spaced characters, confusing characters such as "B" and "8," and touching characters. Additionally, the tools are able to tolerate wide changes in label orientation, as well as changes in string appearance caused by low-contrast printing and print degradation.

To simplify the process of setting up applications, the new OCV and OCR tools provide a graphical font training utility that enables users to quickly teach the system character typefaces. Once fonts have been trained, they are automatically stored in the vision sensor's memory. This enables on-the-fly character string changes in OCV applications without operator intervention. Ethernet communications, which are built into In-Sight vision sensors, enable trained font files to be easily downloaded to other In-Sight sensors deployed throughout the plant. Additionally, In-Sight sensors offer a number of security features designed to control access to application files and are compliant with the Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 11 regulations.

The OCR and OCV tools will be available on In-Sight vision sensors in November 2001.

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