Vision sensor reliably reads pharmacodes

20th April 2017
Posted By : Barney Scott
Vision sensor reliably reads pharmacodes

EVT presents a new vision sensor for reading pharmacodes also known as Pharmaceutical Binary Code: the EyeSens PharmaCode Reader (PCR). The pharmacode is a 7-digit numerical code for an unambiguous identification of pharmaceutical specialities and other products. The pharmacode can represent only a single integer from 3 to 131070.

The pharmaceutical industries use this code as packing control system to prevent mix-ups or other mistakes and sometimes also just to check if the instruction leaflet is present.

The identification of the individual code on the product is only just the beginning of the control and monitoring process with the EyeSens PCR. The pharmacode is technically not really a bar code, at least not as we think of bar codes. While it does encode numerical data similar to an UPC, it does not have a start stop pattern. Thus pharmacode is meant to be scanned in one direction only. Scanning it left to right will get a different sequence of numbers than scanning it right to left.

With the accuracy of the EyeVision software and the efficiency of the EyeSens series, a high reading speed, whilst low reading mistakes, is given even with deficient code-printing quality. Pharmacode can be printed in a wide assortment of colors, unlike bar codes, which are intended to be read with laser or laser emulating light sources. 

In the following steps, the vision sensor can be extended to check also quality characteristics such as: is the expiration date present? Is the label at the correct position? Is the instruction leaflet included?

The EyeSens PCR consists of a combination of a compact hardware and a software, which was especially developed for such applications. The software commands are based on the EyeVision image processing software. The vision sensor is available with already integrated lens and illumination or else with C-Mount connection, where the user can choose their own individual lens. The EyeSens series is available in different resolutions (736 x 480, 1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024 pixel). For the all-inclusive sensor versions there are additional options such as three different focal lengths, available.

The command set – the software – is based on the EyeVision machine vision software, which offers drag-and-drop programming, with which the commands can be combined intuitive-self-explanatory to form an inspection program. Therefore no programming skills are necessary to work with the software. There are even more commands for this software and therefore the command set can be extended by activating some additional commands.

For example a EyeSens PCR (PharmaCodeReader) can easily be equipped with a DMC reader command. And so some extent the EyeSens vision sensor can be changed into some other vision sensor such as e.g. EyeSens ColorInspect or EyeSens QR, etc.


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