ROTECH RF COMPLIANCE RANGE
Q. What is the compliance range?
A. The Compliance range of equipment is a development of our existing range of feeding systems and is designed for the feeding and printing of packaging materials, most notably pharmaceutical cartons.
The range incorporates an inspecition and reject system to ensure that only compliant products are produced and that any that do not comply are rejected.
Q. what benefits do the systems offer?
A. Benefits of the Compliance systems come in three areas:
The Compliance systems offer an off line or "near-line" facility for the printing of pharmaceutical cartons (a labelling function can aldo be included).
This offers many benefits:
- Cartons are presented in their flat form to the printing system which can then make a perfect print without concerns about the pack bulging, skewing, or travelling away from the printhead.
- Pre-printing of cartons allows for multiple lines, or even several hand-packing stations, to be supplied.
- No need to "break" a line to add a coding and inspection station.
Various inspection functions can be carried out to ensue both that the correct product is being used and also to confirm that the correct information has been added to the pack.
Legislation requiring packs to bear a unique serialisation code is growing and the Compliance range can either produce these codes internally or recieve them from an external source. With all serialised packs bearing a 2D, Datamatrix barcode, the need for perfect pack presentation is even more important.
Q. What levels of inspection can you offer on the feeders?
1. Pattern Match (blob detection)
If there is a print there and it's of a similar pattern to a reference sample (though only the overall pattern is being matched, not each letter, nor the 2D bar code.
2. 2D bar code and OCV system
The camera takes an image and reads the information that it finds. It does this using a 2D datamatrix tool for the bar code and an "OCR" tool for the text.
It can then compare the information read to reference information entered by the operator (which can be done via a "teach" facility using a reference sample) and decides if it matches (this is the 'OCV' bit - verification)
3. 2D bar code and OCV system with online grading
As 2. above, but the system also tells you how good a quality the print is - it 'grades' it - though this only applies to the barcode.
There is a key point to note on this: The ISO/IEC 15415 standard for the verification of datamatrix barcodes requires that a number of images are taken with the lighting coming from different angles each time. Clearly this is not possible on line, so any system fitted to one of our feeders can only offer an "indicative" grade. Therefore the use of a bench top verifier that gives a grading to this standard and then compare the two result is also preferable.
The online system would normally err on the side of caution so a grade B online, may be an A under the verifier. This means that so long as the online system is passing grade Cs and above, they must be good.
Terminology is somewhat key here, when referring to a "good quality code", it would be better to simply say a "good code" i.e. the camera can confirm that the correct information is printed. Quality takes us you into the realms of verification.
Q. What is the “necessary” specification for a camera system to fit to one of your Compliance systems?
A. Fundamentally it needs to be able to read the information at the speed at which it will be passing by on the conveyor. After this it’s just a case of taking care of the signals in and out. The feeder will provide a 'look now' trigger and look for a 'Judgement Complete' and 'Good' signal back. If both of these are received the product is accepted, if just the first, it is rejected and if neither are returned, the product is rejected, feeding is halted and an error message is displayed to say the camera is not functioning correctly.