Read 2D codes to validate packs match the cigarette serialization code on the carton
Once the cigarette packs are grouped into cartons, or cigarette bundles, a tracking label, typically with a serialized 2D Data Matrix code, is applied to the plastic-wrapped carton. In addition to ensuring every Data Matrix code is read accurately for tobacco traceability, manufacturers must also perform a conformity check to validate the packs match the cigarette serialization code on the carton. The label-based Data Matrix code is easily read, however, the DotCode symbologies on the packs can be distorted or obstructed by the layers of plastic film. These cartons travel on high-speed conveyers further complicating the ability to accurately read each code.
Positioning three DataMan image-based barcode readers on the line, two DataMan 374X reading the rows of DotCodes on the side of the packs, and one DataMan 262X reading the Data Matrix code on the end of the carton, easily solves this application. The image formation technology reduces the effect of the glare from the plastic film, highlighting the laser printed DotCode symbology, and allowing it to be read easily and reliably. DataMan 370 and 260 series barcode readers also keep up with fast moving line speeds, decoding Data Matrix codes in under 15 ms and DotCodes in under 60 ms.