Image-based readers surpass laser scanner in code-reading ability, said Cognex

1D and 2D codes can be obscured and difficult to read in many applications, because of size, quality, printing method, or environment. Because of higher accuracy, image-based readers are rapidly replacing laser scanners in a wide range of manufacturing and logistics applications, Cognex said.


Cognex images show the wide variability of 1D barcode and 2D code readings.A technology shift is taking place in 1D and 2D code-reading hardware and software, according to Cognex. Codes can be obscured and difficult to read in many applications, because of size, quality, printing method, or because surface the codes are marred. Accuracy advantages have allowed image-based readers to rapidly replace laser scanners in a wide range of manufacturing and logistics applications, Cognex said. Cognex images show the wide variability of 1D barcode and 2D code readings.

One dimensional (1D) code symbologies include UPC, PDF, and postal codes, and 2D code symbologies include data matrix and QR Barcodes and 2D codes can be used simultaneously.

Cognex shows 1D barcode and 2D code.2D codes come on labels and packaging, while direct part marks (DPM) can be made on chips, plastic, ceramics, metal, and glass. Proper lighting helps. Cognex UltraLight illumination technologies enable “direct marked 2D codes to be applied to a wide range of products that previously were difficult to identify and track through their manufacturing and usage lifecycle,” the company said.

The manufacturer of machine vision and bar-code reading systems, said it “offers the most advanced technology available for 1D barcode and for 2D Data Matrix code reading.” Using knowledge gathered, in part, with machine vision systems and related software, the company patented Cognex IDMax technology and two algorithms, Cognex 1DMax and Cognex 2DMax for reading “virtually every type of code, every time, with unsurpassed read rates,” the company said. Combined with handheld and fixed-mount reader formats, Cognex can “successfully read codes that other readers cannot."

Manufacturers and others can more help on 1D and 2D code reading; videos, datasheets, product and software information are available from Cognex.


Barcode reader said to exceed laser scanner performance

10 Considerations for Direct Part Mark Identification (DPMI) - Fast, accurate, and reliable DPMI is a challenge because codes can be difficult to read because of low contrast, variations in part surfaces, and other considerations.

Learn about various machine control applications and see tutorials at

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering,

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