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2DMax with PowerGrid Technology

Combining texture and shape for best-in-class 2-D code reading

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Two-dimensional (2-D) DataMatrix codes are growing in popularity due to the amount of data they can encode for tracking and tracing purposes. However, successful DataMatrix code reading is reliant upon the finder and clocking patterns being intact, along with a quiet zone around the code. If these essential elements are damaged or obscured, the barcode reader is unable to identify and decode the symbol from the other markings on the product or packaging.

Cognex has overcome this limitation with PowerGrid™ technology. This patent-pending 2-D code-reading algorithm combines both textural and geometric data to enable the highest DataMatrix code read rates for industrial applications, including automotive, electronics, pharmaceutical supply chain and logistics.

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Reliably reads low quality 2-D codes

A traditional vision-enabled barcode reader uses a shape-based algorithm to locate the finder and clocking patterns to determine the proper code orientation and module size for DataMatrix codes. Using the pixel intensity values, the shape-based algorithm separates the black foreground modules from the white background and then "reads" the encoded data. As long as the quiet zone, finder pattern, and clocking pattern are located and intact, the 2-D code reader can locate and read the code—even if the code is of low contrast, is missing a line in the data region, or part of the data region is blocked.

Achieving Highest Read Rates Tech Note

Tackles codes with defective quiet zones, finder and clocking patterns

When there is little to no quiet zone or when the finder pattern or clocking patterns are blocked or missing, a secondary texture-based algorithm is needed to locate and read the code. 2DMax® with PowerGrid technology combines both shape-based pattern searches and texture-based analysis that looks at the scene and locates texture resembling data modules clustered together. Once it has found the modules, it then works to determine the size of the modules and the overall size of the DataMatrix code. Then, the traditional 2DMax code reading algorithms take over to read and decode the data.

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Exceptional 2-D matrix code read rates

Advanced 2-D code reading algorithms using PowerGrid can correctly read 2-D codes when vital elements of the DataMatrix code are missing or damaged. With this technology, customers can expect increased read rates and decoding robustness on the most difficult and degraded codes, far above current performance expectations.


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PowerGrid technology combines texture and shape for best-in-class 2-D code reading