Vision software for track and trace applications
Industrial vision plays an important role in reading unique identifiers in the form of 1D or 2D codes, alphanumerics or even braille for tracking and tracing applications in industries as diverse as aerospace, automotive, healthcare and pharmaceutical. Specialist vision systems integrators are frequently used to design systems for complex code reading tasks requiring extremely precise triggering and encoding to the manufacturing process. The choice of image processing software is important in complex imaging environments.
Codes may be printed or etched directly onto components or attached on labels. The vision system should have a camera and lens with sufficient resolution to read the particular code, an illumination system that allows the image to be produced with the necessary contrast, appropriate image processing software and a processor capable of running the software. The codes may need to be read at very high speed and at a number of different locations and the code reading process may be one vision task as part of a number of vision inspections in an overall quality inspection procedure.
Sherlock is an advanced machine vision software interface from Teledyne DALSA featuring a comprehensive suite of proven tools and capabilities that includes advanced pattern finding tools for object alignment and tools to read and verify 1D and 2D codes, as well as printed, moulded or stamped text (OCR). While these are essential requirements, it is Sherlock’s versatility that has such appeal for vision systems integrators. It allows mixing of imager type, resolution and interface in the same application and supports synchronous and asynchronous triggering.
Sherlock is ideally suited for use with multicore processors, offering the flexibility needed for different inspection speeds and machine cycle times. It is possible to set the software to use a single core, or all cores, allowing intensive processing inspections to use one or more cores with less intensive inspections using one core. In addition, Sherlock can be almost infinitely configured to run multiple cameras into one investigation or multiple investigations with single or multiple cameras.
Sherlock is also compatible with Visual Studio allowing the creation of custom user interfaces. Used in conjunction with Teledyne DALSA’s Sapera Vision Software libraries and drivers from STEMMER IMAGING’s CVB imaging toolkit, Sherlock can accept images from almost any camera, including line scan, area scan and 3D across all common interface formats such as GigE Vision, CameraLink and USB as well as emerging new image acquisition standards.
Sherlock in action
A contact lens manufacturer needed to read 1D, 2D and human readable codes on a packaging production line. This application was particularly challenging due to the number of part variances, and the incredibly tight physical constraints for the cameras and illumination.
Vision systems integrator, SIGA Vision, worked closely with vision technology supplier, STEMMER IMAGING, to develop a system that featured five asynchronous cameras using a single vision processor with multiple Sherlocks running. Demanding and complex projects such as these benefit from the joint expertise and breadth of technology offered by such a partnership.
SIGA Vision’s extensive experience in developing innovative machine vision software solutions, especially using Sherlock was complemented by STEMMER IMAGING’s wide-ranging choice of cameras, optics and lighting hardware from various manufacturers and comprehensive technical back-up for Sherlock.