Accu-Sort Systems, a major supplier of auto ID systems, has launched a suite of solutions for the special demands of reading bar codes in the tire manufacturing industry.
Capturing the data on these bar codes is especially challenging because the bar codes are small and located in the bead area of the tire, making it difficult for automated equipment to read. In addition to the need for high read rates, the tire industry also needs to minimize maintenance costs and increase uptime. Accu-Sort equipment has been successful in this application by addressing all of these customer concerns, the company said today.
The tire industry uses low-aspect ratio bar-codes, which range from only 3/8 to 1/2 inches tall. Often these bar codes have narrow elements (10 mil) that compound the challenge for bar code readers. These bar codes can be in any orientation as the tire passes the scan point. Accu-Sort offers three different technical solutions: a bar-code reading omni-directional laser scanner, an economical bar-code reading camera, and a high-end camera.
The omni-directional laser scanner, called Axiom-X, can take the place of six to 14 scan heads required by competing solutions. This increases reliability by reducing the potential points of failure and makes the system easy to install by plant personnel. In addition, the Axiom-X design simplifies maintenance by allowing hot-swap component change-outs. The system parameters are stored in the scan head and base so there is no need for reconfiguration during swap out. What's more, the Axiom-X has a higher temperature operation rating than some competing products, an important feature for tire plants, which typically have high indoor temperatures.
The AccuVision HandsFree is a small CCD camera/decoder that can reliably read the smallest low-aspect-ratio bar codes. Providing camera read rates at the price of a laser scanner, it has a deep 30-inch depth of field able to handle tires of different sizes. Like the Axiom-X, the HandsFree can be easily maintained by plant personnel, thus lowering operating costs and minimizing equipment downtime.
To achieve extremely high read rates, some tire plants use Accu-Sort's AV4000 camera bar-code reading system. This CCD style camera has the ability to read low-aspect-ratio 1D bar codes and 2D symbologies, which are used on tires at the retail level. The cameras can also capture images of no reads for analysis.
Bar codes are essential to tire manufacturing because they allow the manufacturer to track tires for quality purposes and in case of product recalls. Several tire manufacturers are using Accu-Sort bar-code reader systems for product sortation prior to shipping, and for reading bar codes at x-ray and balancing test stands. Unlike some other solutions, Accu-Sort equipment allows users to standardize on a single model reader, reducing stock-room costs with common spares.
Accu-Sort Systems is a pioneer in advanced auto ID systems with more than three decades of experience deploying and supporting scanning, tracking and sortation solutions in various industries including transportation, logistics, industrial/manufacturing, and retail. The company is one of the world's leading providers of high-speed laser and camera-based solutions for barcode reading, convergent RFID solutions, as well as complete turn-key integrated systems solutions.