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Our Enhanced Barcode Reader improves the read rate of barcodes and limits manual processing

Benefits of the Prime Vision Enhanced Barcode Reader:

  • Around two third of initially rejected barcodes can be read
  • This means considerable savings, yearly

Many logistic processes use barcodes for identification of objects. The premise is that barcodes can be 100% reliably read. However, in real life this is often not the case.

When barcodes are read by optical cameras, normal barcode reading software can only read them perfectly if the quality of the barcode and camera complies with many rigid constraints. For instance, the amount of white space around the barcode, the fact that the barcode needs to be printed on a flat surface, the darkness of the ink, the printing should not be scratched or broken, the illumination should be sufficient, etc.

How no-reads occur

The no-reads in the logistic processes occur on objects for which these constraints are violated. Printers run out of ink, labels get torn, folded or scratched, and objects are not always flat. These barcode no-reads can make up large expenses in logistic processes, because the items then have to be handled by fallback processes which are usually more time-consuming, expensive and in many cases manual. Typically, 5% of common parcel sorting processes needs to be handled by these fallback processes, often leading to hundreds of thousands of euros of lost revenue per year.

How we solve the no-reads problems

We understand that the rigid constraints imposed on barcode quality are there to reduce the risk of incorrect reading the barcode result. However, these constraints are very conservative, and are meant for all possible conditions under which barcodes are used. Our Enhanced Barcode Reader looks at the barcode reading from the specific customer’s point of view. It in essence ignores several of these constraints which may not apply to the specific customer case and compensates the increased risk of incorrect reading by applying domain-specific knowledge to identify and prevent accidental errors. The Enhanced Barcode Reader is meant as a second attempt to read a barcode of an object, which only occurs after the primary barcode reader has not been able to read the barcode. A configuration tool allows customers to manage their own image database so that all new objects can be added at short notice.

How it works

The Enhanced Barcode Reader consists of two parts:

  • A toolkit of several basic image processing techniques. These techniques are typical parts of a normal barcode reader which don’t require or assume the rigid constraints of the normal barcode requirements.
  • Our efforts to optimize them for the customer-specific situation.

First, we determine why the primary barcode reader failed to read the barcodes. Then we choose from our toolkit the best techniques to read them. We combine these selected techniques into the final solution and tune them until the number of goodreads is high enough and the number of wrong reads is low enough.

The enhanced barcode reader is therefore by nature a tailor-made product.

Contact us for more information and a free consult.

CASE STUDY

Enhanced Barcode Reader

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Technology is advancing at such a rate that we can’t predict where we will be in a decade. For now, our industry’s vision is based on artificial intelligence. While the speculation of what’s possible is endless, developers have to translate all this potential, invention and innovation into realistic solutions. While it’s great to let the imagination fly, we have to balance indulgence against purpose and benefit.

Michiel de Rijcke

has led the research and development department of Prime Vision since 2001. With a solid background in computer vision and a PhD and cum laude graduation in mathematics, Michiel’s ingenuity brings applied research to innovation.

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Enhanced Barcode Reader

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