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Automated QR Code Printer & Verifier Enables Inventory Tracking


Automated QR Code Printing & Verifying System
Automated QR Code Printing & Verifying System

The Challenge

A global pharmaceutical manufacturer came to us with the need for a system to automate the printing and scanning of QR codes for their product labels.


The Solution

Using programmatically controlled commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware, a high-definition camera, and vision inspection software we built the customer a turnkey solution for the automated printing and verifying their product QR codes for improved inventory tracking.

Right to Left: 1. Label Roll Holder, 2. Thermal Press QR Code Printer, 3. Cognex Barcode Reader & Pneumatic Hole Punch Manifold, 4. The Label Reroller (Retrieves Labels).
Right to Left: 1. Label Roll Holder, 2. Thermal Press QR Code Printer, 3. Cognex Barcode Reader & Pneumatic Hole Punch Manifold, 4. The Label Reroller (Retrieves Labels).

System Order of Operations

  • A blank label roll is placed on the machine’s right side label holder by an operator(1).

  • The first label is fed into the thermal press printer’s grip manifold (2).

  • The operator begins the system via the user interface.

  • The printer presses a film that adheres to the label under high heat and prints the required QR Code.

  • The printed label passes under the Cognex barcode scan camera (3). This camera verifies each barcode’s print quality.

If the quality meets customer criteria it is a pass.

If the quality does not meet the criteria, it is a reject.

  • The reject barcodes are punched through by the pneumatic hold punch manifold.

  • After verification, the labels pass to the label holder on the left which rewinds the labels back into a roll (4).

  • The system logs each verified QR Code into a .CSV file which is then communicated to the customer’s internal network via Ethernet.

Delivering the Outcome

Our automated QR Code printer and verifier has greatly improved our customer’s inventory tracking capabilities. Our system’s rejection capabilities allowed the end-user to decrease the application of inadequate labels, eliminating the need for multiple technicians to remove labels and issue new SKUs prior to shipping. Ultimately resulting in an on-time shipment increase of 7% and thousands saved in excess labor.

Technical Specifications


1 x Zebra ZT610 Printer [600dpi, Ethernet]

1 x Thermal Transfer Ribbon

1 x Zero Tension Rewinder Z-CAT-6 (Right Side)

1 x Cognex Fixed Mount Barcode Reader Kit

1 x Cognex M12 Ethernet Cable

1 x Acer Monitor

1 x Fixed Mount Pneumatic Solenoid

1 x Pneumatic Hammer-Driven Small Hole Punch

1 x NPT Manifold

1 x Threaded Track Roller (for Labels)

1 x Thermal Transfer Ribbon





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