Cognex enhances vision system with AI-based OCR capabilities 

The In-Sight 2800 vision system has been enhanced by Cognex with the introduction of edge learning technology which simplifies character reading applications to improve quality control and traceability.

The expanded capabilities of the In-Sight 2800 vision system includes optical character recognition (OCR). The new ViDi EL Read tool, powered by edge learning technology, deciphers human-readable characters on reflective, low contrast and non-flat surfaces with ease, said Cognex.

The In-Sight 2800 with edge learning means anyone can deploy AI-based applications regardless of experience level, said Lavanya Manohar, Cognex’s vice president of Vision Systems. “ViDi EL Read replaces complicated programming with example-based training, making it simple to set up OCR models to read characters on challenging surfaces and even multiple lines of text simultaneously,” she added.

The OCR feature helps medical device and pharmaceutical companies to verify dates and lot codes to ensure vaccine efficacy and compliance with medical standards. Electric vehicle manufacturers can quickly locate and read the alphanumeric text laser etched on the bottom sides of EV batteries to improve traceability, and logistics facilities can decipher codes and text on a variety of package types to ensure proper routing and prevent rework. It can also be used in the food and beverage industry to help producers easily read expiration dates, even on curved surfaces, to verify freshness and prevent consumer recalls, said Cognex.

OCR applications can be time-consuming to set up, requiring hours of programming by highly trained engineers, preventing many companies from automating this type of inspection. Using the ViDi EL Read tool, models are set up and deployed directly on the device in minutes with as few as 10 sample images. The accuracy of the results is measured by a confidence score that is displayed below each of the trained characters offering real time, visual feedback and reassurance of reliable traceability across the supply chain.

Additional tools are currently in development and scheduled for release in coming months.

Cognex designs, develops, manufactures and markets a wide range of image-based products, all of which use artificial intelligence (AI) techniques that give them the human-like ability to make decisions on what they see. Cognex products include machine vision systems, machine vision sensors and barcode readers that are used in factories and distribution centres around the world where they eliminate production and shipping errors.

Headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, USA, Cognex has offices and distributors located throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

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