Automatic Print Inspection using 4Sight Technology

AutoCoding Systems will be demonstrating their latest innovation in vision at the forthcoming UKIVA Machine Vision Conference in Milton Keynes.  The 4Sight solution, powered by SICK AppSpace, is a true industry breakthrough in automatic print inspection.


The global partnership between AutoCoding Systems and SICK has resulted in the development of a new innovative solution for checking the presence, accuracy and legibility of printed codes.


Incorrect, illegible or missing codes on consumer products can cause serious, and expensive, problems for manufacturers, but typically reading and inspecting of printed codes, particularly on high speed lines, has always been challenging due to the many application specific variables.


The 4Sight application communicates directly with any brand of printer, with no requirement to “teach” the camera what to look for.  Unlike more orthodox vision inspection techniques, no fixturing, such as an edge or logo, is needed; the software can automatically cope with variations in artwork, background and text location.


All processing is undertaken onboard the SICK camera where the 4Sight software resides meaning no line-side PC is needed.  There is a simple set-up process for camera position, set-up, focus, illumination and exposure time, with no requirement for operators to configure features or regions of interest.  The software automatically adjusts to accommodate real-time message changes, such as date code and clock time.  In addition, there are a number of configurable features to allow the solution to be easily optimised for fast processing time, making it an ideal print inspection solution for high speed applications.


The application offers full flexibility allowing users to determine acceptable print quality tolerances and define what is considered a good read, bad read or no read on a per product basis.


As well as operating seamlessly with AutoCoding, the 4Sight software can be used as standalone solution or connected to any code deployment system and also offers full integration to various types of label editing software.


Managing Director, Mike Hughes, will be delivering a presentation to delegates at the upcoming June Machine Vision Conference where he’ll consider some of the challenges of using vision technology to automatically inspect printed information.  He commented, ““Historically AutoCoding Systems has used its standard product to automate packaging line devices and, within a workflow, integrate its product to other customer infrastructure systems, as needed.


Frequently, AutoCoding is used to deliver solutions in coding and packaging verification, where printed codes and variable information are fully controlled for all brands of printers and coding technologies by the AutoCoding software.  The 4Sight application adds a much-desired vision solution to our coding management capabilities.


Inspecting printed codes, particularly at continuous inkjet speed, has always been fraught with challenges, making living with a print vision system quite difficult in terms of nuisance stops or false rejections, causing unnecessary line stops.


4Sight uses new and innovative methods for print inspection, simplifying the process and making vision accessible to all budgets.”

Automation Update