Single Pack Tracking using DotCode and OCR

Reliably read codes on cigarette packs to trace the products throughout the supply chain

Cigarette Single Pack Tracking - DotCode and OCR

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Once cigarette or e-cigarette packs are assembled and sealed, they are marked with either inkjet or laser printed DotCode, Data Matrix, and OCR codes. These unique codes include manufacturer, date and lot information, and pack contents and must be read in order to track and trace the tobacco products throughout the supply chain.

Manufacturers are challenged with reliably reading these codes on packs traveling along high-speed production lines. The DotCode and OCR characters can be difficult to decode due to a variety of factors. The OCR characters are often different sizes and printed close to each other making it hard to distinguish the individual characters. As the laser printer reaches end of life or is contaminated with dirt from the production environment, the marking print quality deteriorates making the code difficult to read. It is also challenging to read both the DotCode and OCR codes simultaneously on the fast-moving conveyers.

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To solve this application, tobacco manufacturers turn to Cognex’s machine vision systems to maximize traceability and throughput. The In-Sight 7800 series vision system simultaneously reads the DotCode and human-readable OCR characters, keeping pace with fast-moving production lines. The In-Sight 7800 with its powerful onboard processing and advanced algorithms, including the OCRMax optical character and optical verification tool, delivers over 99% accuracy on even the most compromised codes.

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