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Efficient Quality Control and Verification Processing

iStock 000002015465Large - Efficient Quality Control and Verification Processing

Verifying barcodes in automated production requires a combination of reliable reading equipment and robust communications technology. This is especially pertinent for achieving quality control, since barcodes are relied upon to accurately indicate the contents of the labeled package or to identify the coded product. Pairing barcode readers from Microscan with the DeviceMaster® UP by Comtrol Corporation allows customers to perform this verification process efficiently and effectively.

“We’ve used the DeviceMaster UP and our barcode scanners together during in-house testing and recommend the combination to customers that require industrial protocol communications.”

— Steve Moser, Application Engineer – Microscan


Technology Solution

“We’ve used the devices together during in-house testing and recommend the combination to customers that require industrial protocol communications,” said Steven Moser, application engineer at Microscan. “Any and all of our products can be used with the DeviceMaster UP, from our 800 series laser scanners to our 2D Quadrus® Verifier.”

The Quadrus Verifier is easily integrated into production lines and offers a fully calibrated system, specifically designed for 2D barcode verification in factory environments. It combines with Comtrol’s equipment to provide customers with a simple verification solution.

“Customers will place a PLC, barcode label printer and a Microscan reader on their plant floor conveyor systems,” said Jason Reiling, Distribution Sales Manager for Comtrol’s Industrial Applications Division. “Once a barcode label is printed and applied to a conveyed product, the barcode will need to be validated as readable further down the line. The DeviceMaster UP interfaces between the reader obtaining information from the barcode label and the PLC. This arrangement provides customers with the ability to simply identify discrepancies in the printed barcodes.”

The DeviceMaster UP enables communication between factory devices and PLC controllers, eliminating the need for users to program complex PLC logic to obtain data from the plant floor. The DeviceMaster UP industrial Ethernet gateway configures in minutes via the web or through Comtrol’s PortVision® Plus software, which ships with each unit and also is available for download free of charge. This gateway supports major industrial Ethernet PLC protocols—EtherNet/IP™, PROFINET, or Modbus/TCP—on a single platform, and it provides 1, 2 or 4 RS-232, RS-422 or RS-485 software-selectable serial connections.

In addition to its robust communication ability, the DeviceMaster UP offers patent-pending DualConnectPlus™ technology, allowing it to simultaneously connect both serial and Ethernet devices to PLCs and/or applications, communicating via industrial Ethernet (EtherNet/IP™, PROFINET or Modbus) and TCP/IP, respectively. It easily extracts RFID and barcode parameters while eliminating redundant data using its sophisticated string, RFID, and barcode data filtering capabilities.

“When Microscan products read barcode data, this information is sent to the DeviceMaster UP via RS-232, and the DeviceMaster converts string data to the appropriate protocol,” Moser said.

The DeviceMaster UP’s simple protocol conversion alleviates the need for repeaters to receive the transmitted signals and also allows signals to be sent over longer distances. Plus, collected data no longer needs to be routed through a PC and converted through complicated programming before it is sent, saving users time and labor.

“The DeviceMaster UP delivers the user-friendly solution needed to facilitate robust communications between plant floor devices and PLC equipment—without complicated, time-consuming PLC programming,” Reiling said.

With rich feature sets and dependable operation, Microscan readers and Comtrol’s DeviceMaster UP provide a sophisticated, easy-to-implement solution for barcode reading and verification in manufacturing, process, packaging automation and many additional applications.