Task setting:

Engine blocks are not only provided with data matrix code, barcode or other codes, but also with plain writing. This is often done by a laser that burns the plain text into the surface of the metal. The changing surface properties of the engine blocks can lead to the fact that the plain text cannot be read by the human eye. For this purpose, a system is to be found that reads and recognizes the plain text and excludes any bad markings from the production process prior to further refinement.


By a PC-based image processing system with Activ Vision Tools from MVTec a system solution could be implemented, which became fair the requirement of the customer. The camera takes a picture of the place where the plain text should be. The software evaluates the image by trying to recognize the plain text and process it further (Optical Character Recognition -> OCR). The software job written at ISW GmbH uses the tools of Activ Vision Tools, reads the plain text and sends the read characters as a character string to the next station in the plant. The system is installed directly behind the laser station and is controlled by a trigger signal triggered by the passing engine block. The software job is programmed for several engine types, so when the engine block type changes, the operator only has to select the appropriate type on site in the software interface.

Customer benefits:

Automation of character recognition has increased line productivity by reducing the time it takes to read, recognize, and remove missing parts from the running process.