Industrial Automation



It's the start of a new year and Microscan is hitting the ground running! This past season provided us with plenty of momentum to propel us into 2013, including our 2012 "Grand Finale": a trip around the globe to host at four international tradeshows, exhibiting our latest auto ID (barcode) and machine vision products from Chicago to Shanghai. At these shows, our team had the chance to meet face-to-face with thousands of industry professionals and learn about exciting new projects in automation, data tracking, and quality control.

The first stop on our world tour was Chicago's PACK EXPO 2012, where technologies for packaging and processing from nearly 1,800 exhibiting suppliers were on display for the over 46,000 attendees of this international show. The Microscan booth was literally buzzing with the activity of over four live demonstrations of packaging inspection and identification. In one very speedy assembly by Microscan Solutions Engineer, Mike Dietzel, Microscan's Vision HAWK C-mount smart camera was exhibited reading printed text (OCR) from the bottoms of vegetable cans moving at 500 parts per minute!

Packaging manufacturers rely on applications like these to ensure with utmost efficiency that food containers are printed with accurate date and lot codes, are traceable throughout their packaging processes, and are batched appropriately for distribution. The Vision HAWK is a powerful packaging solution, not only for its high-speed performance, but also because of its flexibility to mount into tight spaces.

Visitors to the Microscan PACK EXPO booth were also keenly interested in verification technology as provided via Microscan's machine vision software and smart cameras. Verification is the process by which print and barcode quality are inspected to ensure readability by technology as well as by the naked eye. In the food and beverage industry, where product and product information are highly regulated, the presence of highly-readable codes and text is paramount to a manufacturer's effectiveness at meeting important safety initiatives and avoiding recalls. Verification tools, as in Microscan's Visionscape ® machine vision software, are therefore a key component of many packaging applications, and were a highlight of Microscan's demonstrations at PACK EXPO.

Special thanks to Microscan partner Dan Hare at Matrix Systems & Solutions for providing these great photos of the Microscan PACK EXPO booth!

At the start of November, Microscan was in two places at once to host our next shows - IAS (Industrial Automation Show) in Shanghai and VISION in Stuttgart, Germany. It's not confirmed, but we may have set the record during these shows for the most discussions about automation in 5 days!

Beginning closest to the dateline, Microscan had the opportunity to highlight our automation solutions from barcode scanners and imagers to high-caliber machine vision cameras and software at IAS Shanghai. Sharing a booth with sister company, Red Lion Controls , Microscan had an impressive presence at this key show , which showcases the latest innovations in automation technology.

On top of welcoming over 500 visitors to the Microscan IAS booth, we were honored to receive the 2012 Most Popular Product Award for our QX-870 laser scanner, as presented by the Chinese Automation Association, China Automation Media Group, and the China International Industry Fair. The QX-870 scanner combines multi-code reading capability with simple plug-and-play connectivity, and features intelligent auto-framing technology along with a programmable raster. The QX-870 has won several Chinese automation awards since it was introduced to the market, including the 2011 Best Market Share Cup for the China FDA Project, as well as the 2011 Most Popular Product Award in the auto ID industry.

At this same time in Stuttgart, the Microscan team was also busy at VISION showcasing our full line of machine vision inspection solutions for industry leaders around Europe. As at PACK EXPO, inspection tools from OCR to verification were a highlight of this show. Visitors were welcomed to play with Microscan technology, from imagers and vision cameras mounted to our rotating inspection table, to a live AutoVISION „¢ machine vision software demo fully set up to run inspection jobs on our latest compact smart cameras. We were especially grateful to have our two sales managers for Germany, Helmuth Zierer and Marko Olpp, present to discuss inspection projects with our German-speaking attendees.

Another highlight of Microscan's showing at VISION was the commemoration of our 30-year anniversary in barcode and machine vision innovation. Dr. Jonathan Ludlow, Machine Vision Promoter at Microscan, kicked off our celebration by cutting a cake made especially for Microscan's 30th birthday. Many of our European partner companies were in attendance at VISION to enjoy a slice of delicious dessert with the Microscan team while we shared our strategies for the coming year.

Microscan's last show of 2012 was a special event organized and hosted by Microscan's representatives in Latin America. Our valued partner, Automation International Ltd. (AIL), provided a full Microscan booth at this year's Brazil Automation ISA (not to be confused with IAS) show in Sao Paulo. The AIL team was in high demand throughout the show, providing presentations of Microscan's latest AutoVISION „¢ simplified machine vision software, which was featured in a cosmetics inspection demo at the front of the booth.

Visitors to AIL's Microscan booth were encouraged to interact with the Microscan portfolio at several hands-on demo stations throughout the booth. A machine vision demo allowed visitors to set up inspection jobs using AutoVISION software's drag-and-drop toolset and their choice of compact smart camera (the fully-integrated liquid lens Vision HAWK, or the world's smallest vision system - the Vision MINI). At a barcode reader demo, printed labels, marked metal plates, and etched PCBs were available to test selected scanners and imagers from Microscan's auto ID line. Finally, a very elegant interactive machine vision lighting demo engineered by the AIL team allowed users to illuminate a range of Microscan NERLITE products by scanning Data Matrix codes using a Microscan handheld reader.

It has certainly been a productive (and well-traveled) year for Microscan! Looking back on these past few months, we are very grateful for the all of the involvement and collaboration of so many international technology users and innovators during this year's final trade shows. It is extremely satisfying to see just how far Microscan solutions can go and we know that as we begin this new year, there is only more to look forward to!

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