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Cobalt IS unveils the key to reliable packing line identification

A new inline verification system which offers accurate and reliable product identification capabilities has been introduced by leading systems specialist Cobalt I.S. The system adds a variety of barcode audit and data acquisition functions to automated packing lines, and represents a highly practical and flexible packing line management tool which has the added benefit of full compliance with EAN and EU178 requirements.

Able to uniquely identify and retain a verification history for every product, the new Cobalt I.S. system also provides a controllable response mechanism that limits the volume of poorly coded or quarantined product that is allowed to pass, and so reduces the cost and time penalties involved in reworking.

Capable of operating at the high speeds typically demanded by today's fast production environments, the system reads, grades and records barcodes in real time, and prevents poorly barcoded products from progressing into further packaging operations.
Each barcode reading is date and time recorded as the product leaves the labelling process, so that individual packs are uniquely identified for removal or easy tracing at a later stage. Additional Optical Character Recognition features provide verification of canned product content to labelling.

Operators are given a graphic display of the current and average barcode read quality which the system is receiving, for easy at-a-glance reference. Reliability is then guaranteed by the system's ability to compare these readings against expected or minimum values, and identify early signs of degradation.

The system allows the user to specify the most appropriate response to any read errors which are detected. Based on individual site requirements these may include a safe and controlled shut down of the packaging line, audible and visual alarms, quarantining of affected product or automatic 'error' labelling. System access and settings are controlled by biometrics – adding fingerprint security to all parameters.

Warning messages of impending problems can also be sent to host applications across an Ethernet connection, or to upstream equipment which has a manned control panel, and this allows further preventative action.

A full audit log of product detail and read status is retained as proof of the barcoding quality on exit from labelling station, which can be used to avoid fines incurred on receipt at retailers. This mechanism also records details of any pack with suspect barcoding for future reference.

Cobalt I.S. is the UK's leading specialist provider of auto identification products, and offers a full backup service which includes technical support and training services. The company offers an unrivalled wealth of experience in automated label printing, scanning and application, and can provide a diverse range of both standard and bespoke solutions which are designed to satisfy customers' individual requirements.

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