New vision sensor for reading pharmacodes


Differences between barcodes and pharmacodes require reader to handle lower code printing quality

Image processing company Eye Vision Technology (EVT) presents a new vision sensor for reading pharmacodes (also known as Pharmaceutical Binary Code) – the EyeSens PharmaCode Reader (PCR).

The pharmacode is a seven-digit numerical code for an unambiguous identification of pharmaceutical specialities and other products. The pharmacode can represent only a single integer from 3 to 131070.

The pharmaceutical industries use this code as packing control system to prevent mix-ups or other mistakes and sometimes also just to check if the instruction leaflet is present.

The identification of the individual code on the product is only just the beginning of the control and monitoring process with the EyeSens PCR.

The pharmacode is technically not really a bar code, at least not as we think of bar codes. While it does encode numerical data similar to an UPC, it does not have a start stop pattern.

Thus pharmacode is meant to be scanned in one direction only. Scanning it left to right will get a different sequence of numbers than scanning it right to left.

Pharmacode can be printed in a wide assortment of colours, unlike bar codes, which are intended to be read with laser or laser-emulating light sources.

In the following steps, the vision sensor can be extended to check also quality characteristics such as:

  • Whether the expiry date is present;
  • Whether the label is in the correct position;
  • Whether the instruction leaflet is included.

The EyeSens PCR software commands are based on the EyeVision image processing software. The vision sensor is available with already integrated lens and illumination or else with C-Mount connection, where the user can choose their own individual lens.

The EyeSens series is available in different resolutions (736 x 480, 1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024 pixel). For the all-inclusive sensor versions there are additional options such as three different focal lengths, available.

The command set offers drag-and- drop programming, with which the commands can be combined in an intuitive and self-explanatory form for an inspection program. No programming skills are necessary to work with the software.

The command set can be extended; for example a EyeSens PCR (PharmaCodeReader) can easily be equipped with a DMC reader command. To some extent, the EyeSens vision sensor can be changed into some other vision sensor such as the EyeSens ColorInspect or EyeSens QR.

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The accuracy of the EyeVision software offers a high reading speed and low reading mistakes even with deficient code-printing quality.


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