Heightened food safety standards – driven by retailers – dictate the need for effective batch control in food production.
However, the inability to properly identify batches of suspect or faulty products due to illegible lot codes can lead to global recalls rather than controlled batch recalls. To address this, ClearView Imaging has developed the CheckMate Print Head – an affordable on-line batch verification print and vision solution – which it will launch at PPMA 2017, stand G44.
ClearView Imaging Managing Director Allan Anderson explains the problem food manufacturers face: “Global recalls have devastating cost and brand image implications for manufacturers and retailers alike. Yet the food manufacturing market faces continuous pressure on margins and, as a result, has difficulty financially justifying costly in-line batch-verification systems.”
The CheckMate Print Head unit is based on industrial grade, IP67 smart camera technology and proven, patented algorithms built around dot matrix printing, and is able to verify legibility rather than simple comparison of continuous ink-jet (CIJ) codes. The patented system does not use image pre-processing, a procedure that is extremely intolerant of minor deviations in character and string separation; and even more intolerant of incomplete character prints. Pre-processing also introduces its own issues due to the way it dilates the printed dots in order to create complete strokes and strings for recognition purposes.
ClearView Imaging’s revolutionary technique offers greater readability of the codes – even if they vary from the target norm – which makes for a robust manufacturing operation by reducing spurious rejects. As important, the system boasts to be the only in-line print and verification solution (comprising the CheckMate Print Head and a Linx 10 CIJ printer) for £10,000, including installation and commissioning – making it affordable to food manufacturers with already tight margins. The CheckMate Print Head will also work with any CIJ printer, making it an attractive retrofit option.
Value engineered to focus on this application and designed to mimic the set-up of the CIJ printing system, this simple-to-use system satisfies the growing pressure throughout the industry for reliable but cost-effective solutions to more effectively verify batch information printed on-line.