In 2019, the Perceptor Inspection Technologies team saw the market opportunity to develop a state-of-the-art secure label print and inspection solution. They deployed their first desktop installation in September 2020. Subsequently, they advanced the product to .NET 4.8 and .NET 7 with built-in security, compliance, and scalability.
In September 2023, they launched Perceptor IoT, and the company is now exclusively focused on that as it launches globally through an experienced reseller community. Getting to this point required ingenuity and unwavering commitment to quality by Perceptor and its suppliers, like Applied Image. For these industry-leading teams, it all comes down to end-user customer and consumer safety and trust.
Even before Perceptor set out to develop their breakthrough product, manufacturers were already clamoring for reliable, efficient, and effective inspection solutions. The real-time label inspection and verification industry, essential for ensuring quality and compliance in various sectors like pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, and consumer goods, faces several critical challenges related to:
- Accuracy and precision – This includes correctly identifying text, graphics, barcodes, and other relevant details. Any error in label inspection can lead to severe consequences, especially in highly regulated industries like pharmaceuticals.
- Speed and efficiency in high-volume manufacturing environments where thousands of products are labeled per hour. Maintaining high accuracy at such speeds is a significant challenge.
- Product and packaging variability that adds complexity. Different label shapes, sizes, and colors require adaptable and sophisticated inspection systems.
- Regulatory compliance with constantly evolving standards across different regions and industries. Failure to comply can lead to legal issues, fines, and recalls.
- Integrating label inspection systems with existing production processes, printers, and IT infrastructure without disrupting ongoing operations or adding excessive costs.
- Minimizing false rejects and false accepts, which is crucial for operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
- Environmental factors like lighting, vibration, dust, and temperature that can affect the performance of label inspection systems.
- Managing inspection data and ensuring traceability for quality control and regulatory purposes.
- Maintenance and timely upgrades that are required to keep the systems effective and updated.
- Ensuring inspection system security and the privacy of sensitive data, especially with the rise of IoT and connected devices.
Perceptor Inspection Technologies is a leading global provider of real-time label inspection and verification solutions with its Perceptor IoT application.
Perceptor IoT brings unlimited global systems connectivity, ensuring manufacturers achieve full compliance and visibility in their product label printing process. The company has developed high-speed, high-performance machine vision inspection systems on production lines since 2004.
Learn more on their website.
Perceptor Inspection Technologies took these challenges head-on with a combination of technological innovation, industry expertise, and adherence to regulatory standards that ensure their label inspection and verification systems meet or exceed the most stringent standards. Having this level of product quality is a source of pride for the Perceptor team.
The bespoke Conformance Calibration Standard Test Card component, supplied by Applied Image, is integral to keeping Perceptor Inspection Technologies clients’ systems and processes going and ensuring they receive accurate information. This is crucial as the company’s end-users are in heavily regulated industries like healthcare, medical devices, and defense.
The regulatory requirements are a powerful guardrail helping to ensure no product goes out with an inaccurate or duplicate label. If that happens, manufacturers can be subject to hefty fines.
So, avoiding those penalties is a strong incentive to pursue flawless labeling. Achieving that degree of accuracy relies on the availability of a calibration card with exceptional precision, as supplied by Applied Image. Perceptor’s customers can utilize this calibration card and be confident that their equipment is functioning properly.
Mark Worlidge, Managing Director and CEO at Perceptor Inspection Technologies has sold 2D DataMatrix verification systems for 25 years. He has an extensive background in implementing and deploying 2D code verification in compliance markets such as Pharma, Medical Device, Life Sciences, and Defense industries to GS1 and MIL-STD 130N industry requirements.
It was essential for Mark and his team to bring Perceptor’s own proprietary label inspection and verification solution to market with all its additional technical benefits and meet the ISO standards – 15426 for the hardware implementation and 15415 (2D) and 15416 (1D) code reading.
ISO 15426 requires the image acquisition device to be calibrated every 90 days. Doing that requires a test card with known white and grayscale values to calibrate the camera sensor. The design team struggled to find a vendor that would supply the verification algorithm/DLL without the hardware and their own costlier solution.
Fortunately, Mr. Worlidge was familiar with Applied Image as their test calibration cards were used at several of his previous companies. The unmatched precision that Applied Image is known for made it the only choice for test cards for image quality assessment in Perceptor’s premium IoT product. Applied Image was also the only supplier that met Perceptor’s specialized requirements for a component compatible with the Zebra ZT610 (and soon the ZT620) printers.
Perceptor aimed to create a unique, effective, and efficient solution that offered customers something they couldn’t find anywhere else. While other verification systems only check for a handful of features, Perceptor IoT checks an astonishing 45 features, including:
- 1D Barcode Height Check
- AAD Single Sign On
- Batch Mode
- Blemish Check
- Captive ROI
- Edit Label Vision Template
- Full Label Overstrike
- Global Template Lock
- Hold Printing
- Image Save
- ISO Barcode Grading
- Label Height Check
- Linked Field Matching
- Multi-Language Support
- Multi Open Batches
- Management Reporting Console
- Microsoft Power BI
- Multi Reference Duplicate Check
- OCR Inspection
- On-prem and Cloud Server Connectivity
Every Perceptor IoT kit for the Zebra ZT610 comes with a Calibration Test card, which includes Ronchi ruling bars and greyscale reflectants. Each card is manufactured to very precise tolerances and then measured so that the measured parameter values of the test card can be compared to those of Perceptor IoT.
The Applied Image calibration test card serves as a primary reference standard, with a traceability chain to national standards for all verifiers calibrated.
With Perceptor firmly in control of their design, they tasked Applied Image with supporting the design, prototype, and ongoing manufacture of the test card. The team tailored the breakthrough inspection technology to the unique requirements of end-users across industries.
This customer-centric approach enabled Perceptor to ensure a perfect operational fit and better overall performance. The next-generation Perceptor IoT uses cloud-based technology. So, customers can have factories anywhere in the world and connect them to hundreds of printers using the same software, each with its own calibration card.
Perceptor’s key advantage is that it integrates with the most commonly used industrial printers, like Zebra or Printronix, with minimal effort. This makes it an ideal solution for those who want to print labels for their products on their own. Customers can use the product with both new and existing printers. They don’t have to worry about buying new printers or manually inspecting each label, which is impractical.
As the labels come out of the printer, the Perceptor IoT system checks each in real-time, eliminating the need for manual checks. This saves time and reduces the chances of human error. It frees the labor force to focus on essential tasks requiring human attention.
The exclusive technology also gives Perceptor’s reseller partners a competitive edge. They can offer products with cutting-edge features and capabilities not available anywhere else. Moreover, Perceptor Inspection Technologies provides dedicated support and regular updates for its proprietary solutions. This ensures customers get the most out of their purchases over the product’s lifecycle.
Would you Recommend Applied Image?
Applied Image’s reputation as the industry gold standard for calibration is well-earned.
Mark Worlidge explained, “Our team was pleased with the quality and precision of the part we received from Applied Image. Applied Image’s ability to simplify complex concepts and provide clear steps toward accuracy through the design phase was extremely helpful. Calibrating Perceptor IoT with an Applied Image conformance test card ensures Perceptor IoT accurately and repeatedly inspects labels with consistency and accuracy. The collaboration between the Perceptor developers and the Applied Image team brought our vision to life, resulting in a perfectly aligned test card that will work seamlessly in any vertical industry sector.”
Applied Image’s unique manufacturing processes and industry expertise allow us to create custom components and standards that meet the specific needs of our customers.