Troika Systems, a UK company that develops print-based quality control products, has released BrailleCAM, a device designed to measure Braille dots.
The BrailleCAM project followed discussions with packaging equipment specialist Chesapeake Packaging Systems. Part of EU legislation already requires the incorporation of Braille information on all new drug packaging, and proposed directives will include detailed specifications for the height of the Braille dot.
According to Andrew Degnan, head of packaging systems at Chesapeake, current technology to measure Braille is limited - typically in the form of a micrometer.
"BrailleCAM, based on Troika's technology for measuring the dot on a flexographic plate, is a far more sophisticated tool," he said. "It is both precise and consistent and provides an array of further information to fine tune the Braille process. At last we have a technique that gives the appropriate level of confidence, and as a result will minimise inspection time."
He added that BrailleCAM provides clear 3D images of the Braille dot and tooling, showing the dot height, profile plot, alignment, symmetry and diameter.
BrailleCAM uses a PC link to show 3D images of a dot using colour representation, allowing the user to view dot form and inspect for surface cracking. The system also provides the tools necessary for highly detailed measurement and recording of dot values.
When measuring finished product, the auto-focus feature of the camera automatically finds the top surface. It then takes a series of images, each with a different focus depth, down to the ground level of the substrate. Software removes all un-sharp parts of each image and combines the levels into a rendered 3D grid model. This can be analysed via the PC and rotated in any direction.
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