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Packaging World     VP/Editor, Pat Reynolds
SPONSOR: Cognex August 26, 2011 | Edited by Pat Reynolds

Barcode Readers >>

Regardless of code quality, size, marking method or material, we can read it! 1DMax™ is a best-in-class 1D barcode-reading tool optimized for omnidirectional barcode reading and can handle extreme scenarios that are seen in real-world environments. Download the IDMax® datasheet now to learn more.


White Paper: 10 reasons to choose image-based readers >>

This guide will show you how today's image-based ID readers have overcome the technical and economic hurdles to offer a more attractive alternative to industrial laser scanners as well as help you choose the right image-based ID reader for your application.


DataMan fixed-mount ID readers >>

DataMan® image-based ID readers combine unmatched code performance, ease-of-use, lighting, camera, processor, and communications into a small, industrial-rated housing. Models are available to match your application for 1D barcode reading, high speed applications or for challenging 2D direct part marks.


DataMan handheld ID readers >>

The rugged DataMan® 8000 Series of readers offers the industry’s most advanced technology for reading 1D and 2D codes regardless of size, quality, printing method or surface, and is the only handheld ID reader that offers Industrial Ethernet communication and liquid lens technology.


High speed ID reading application videos >>

Watch the powerful decoding capabilities of the DataMan® 500 image-based barcode reader. Cognex VSoC™ technology allows the DataMan 500 to quickly read multiple codes with no duplicate reads. Watch as it easily decodes eight codes on a package of eight boxes.


What's the value of open architecture?

I recently posed the following question to the LinkedIn group known as Packaging Machinery: Considering how often we hear that an open-architecture approach in controls platforms is a desirable thing when it comes to building packaging machines, do you agree or disagree; and if open architecture is such a good idea, who benefits from it-- machine builder or machine buyer?

Among the thoughtful responses were these:

• From Jens Agerskov, CEO at Dencore Packaging Systems APS in the Copenhagen, Denmark, area: "Machine buyer—they are not held hostage to the mfg."

• Replying to Agerskov was John Kowal, market development manager in the greater Chicago area for B&R Industrial Automation: "Machine builders and buyers both are not held hostage by us controls suppliers! If you are interested in open architecture and how it benefits you, come to Pack Expo Las Vegas and attend the OMAC (Organization for Machine Automation and Control) meetings on September 27."

• From Charles Muskat, sales manager for Triangle Package Machinery Co., who is based in the greater San Diego area: "I think both buyer and builder benefit. Ease of sourcing components, standardization, shortened learning curves, etc. are all good things. [From my perspective] as a machinery manufacturer, one of the things that open architecture has generated is the idea among end-users that they will have complete access to the PLC code. This opens up a can of insurance worms because of the potential for the end-user to modify something that makes the machine less safe. Triangle has taken the approach of providing copies of programs with all comments, but we reserve the ability to make code changes so we may verify functionality and safety. We then offer lifetime archiving of the program so the end-user can always get back to square one if something happens. One complaint I hear from end-users is the restrictive nature of the 800-lb gorilla of the controls industry for our segment. High pricing for replacement items and minimal backwards compatibility when new generations are released are two main concerns. But in the next breath everyone still specifies the gorilla! Overall, however, open architecture has been a great success for us and our customers."

• Back to Jens Agerskov: "How do you understand open architecture and how do you work it? Most of the OpenPLC component manufacturers still program in their own softwares, layers on top of CodeSyS or other platforms that are semi open. What do you understand by open architecture and how do you optimise the use of it?"

• And John Kowal's answer: "Everything is relative. I've been involved in industrial controls standards for 15+ years, and as a board member of OMAC I'm still in the middle of it. From a practical standpoint, common look and feel means a lot. Cars make a great analogy. I don't really want to ask for a Ford motor in a brand new Chevy, but either brand should have the speedometer, turn signals, and ignition switch more or less where I expect them. The unnatural relationship in the North American packaging market with the 800-lb. gorilla -- as Charles Muskat so accurately described it -- is less about open architecture and more about human nature. But it's changing. Look at Nestle's new standards-based specification for packaging automation (see

NEW Automation Products

Upgrade to statistical process control software

InfinityQS International's ProFicient 4.4, the latest upgrade to its Statistical Process Control (SPC) software, analyzes machine utilization and provides enhanced control and visibility with real-time predictive analysis ... Read more

PC-Based EtherCAT control solution eliminates controller hardware

The SPiiPlusSC (Soft Controller) from ACS Motion Control enables a standard PC to run the machine host application, the Graphical User Interface (GUI) and the SPiiPlusSC real-time motion controller and PLC without adding any hardware ... Read more

Updated configuration software for safety controllers

Omron Scientific's updated configuration software for their G9SP Programmable Safety Controllers uses unique and intuitive programming software to design, verify, standardize and reuse safety control, and is compatible with Microsoft® Windows 7 operating systems ... Read more

Inductive ring sensors can be mounted side-by-side or stacked

Available in 10, 15 and 25mm diameter openings, Balluff's inductive ring sensors detect small metal parts including nails, screws, welded studs and more ... Read more

Connection system uses prewired cables

AutomationDirect's expanded ZIPLink connection system utilizes prewired cables and DIN rail mount connector modules to eliminate the process of wiring between devices ... Read more

Compact power supplies

Designed for restricted installation depths, Wago's DIN-rail mount EPSITRON(r) COMPACT power supplies comply with DIN43880, specifying equipment dimensions for distribution and meterpanels ... Read more

Upcoming events:

Shelf Impact!'s Package Design Workshop
Courtyard Marriott, Schaumburg, IL. Shelf Impact!'s Package Design Workshop is an interactive workshop covering package design strategies, trends, best practices and consumer insights for package designers, package development pros, marketing and brand managers, September 13.

International Dairy Show
The International Dairy Show features the latest trends and innovations in the dairy industry, and will be held in Atlanta, Georgia at the Georgia World Congress Center, September 19-21.

PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011
Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV. North America's largest packaging and processing event includes a Pharmaceutical Pavilion, Processing Zone, Brand Zone, Confectionery Pavilion and more, September 26-28.

Rigid Playbook


Rigid container project in the works?

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