Optical character recognition (OCR) and optical character verification (OCV) each have their own specific rules and regulations when it comes to their creations. When combined, they’re able to look at both the content and the appearance of printed text, allowing for a more complete view of what is printed on a label. OCR/OCV label inspection is used to ensure that packages are correctly labeled so that they don’t end up being wrongly sorted, incorrectly rejected, or sent out with incorrect or illegible information printed.
When you use OCR/OCV to check your label’s accuracy, you’re adding a much-needed step in the quality assurance process of your product’s manufacturing. If the products that you sell need to have something printed on the label that routinely changes over time, like a serial number of expiration date, OCR/OCV can help make sure that your product is correctly printed and avoid the costly error of sending out misprinted labels.
In the past, most OCR/OVR detection systems for printed labels, cartons, and a variety of other packaging was done after the printing process was complete. This, at least, would prevent poor quality printed product from reaching the consumer. But with the emergence of new technology including line scan cameras, those print flaws can now be detected during the printing process — allowing for correction during the manufacturing stage and eliminating defect materials altogether.
Below you’ll find a few of the reasons why OCR/OCV label inspection is vital to the label production process.
If your current label production includes random manual selection of labels to read and put through quality assurance checks, there’s a high likelihood that you’re missing misprinted or damaged labels. A few incorrectly printed labels could mean a recall of a large batch of labels if a mistake isn’t caught before shipment, which is a costly and time consuming error. It’s not realistic to have every label checked by an actual person, which makes the use of the OCR and OCV processes much more cost-effective and time-effective for label inspections. With OCR/OCV, every single label can be checked, and the error margin is significantly lower than with random manual selections and checks. You can avoid a lot of human error by choosing to use an OCR/OCV check in your label manufacturing process.
Depending on your industry, product type, and specific laws and regulations for where a product is being sold, there will be different requirements for a label created for your products. There may be a specific area where the expiration date, packaged date, sold-by date, etc has to be printed, a specific code that has to be generated for each product, or more. With the OCR/OCV process, you’re able to program the machine to properly check both the text and the appearance of the text to ensure that you’re meeting all industry standards. The OCR/OCV machinery can be programmed to check multiple fields of vision (FOV) on a label using multiple cameras, allowing for simultaneous accurate checks to different parts of the label.
For example, if you need a set of products to have a specific bar code, the OCR/OCV can be programmed to look for that specific barcode on your label. It can also “read” a date printed on your label to ensure it’s correctly and legibly printed.
Does your product have specific rules, regulations, or guidelines that must be followed when it comes to what is printed on the label? Ever changing numbers, like expiration dates, serial numbers, and more can be properly checked with the OCR/OCV process. You can avoid facing legal issues or recalls when you’re ensuring that each label meets the requirements needed.
Without inspection, a misprinted label due to machine failure can mean that products have to be recalled, which is a lengthy and inconvenient process. With OCR and OCV, incorrect labels can be caught before ever being shipped out, which means they can be reprinted and replaced before causing bigger problems for your production line. With so many issues that can come with printing on labels -- such as an incomplete print, a blurry print, incorrectly positioned characters, overlapping characters, double printed characters, and more, having an OCR/OCV to check the accuracy of your print is key to ensuring your quality assurance standards are met.
Many programs struggle with accurately reading and assessing the correctness of printed text. It’s why so many websites require that you fill out a captcha before you can log in -- robots and computer programs are unable to read distorted text. However, with updated OCR/OCV technology, there can be error margins of less than 0.5% when it comes to incorrect readings. Since the OCR and OCV have different tasks, the combination of systems allows for a more accurate assessment of the printed text on your label. By looking at both the text of what is printed using OCR and the imagery of what is printed using OCV, it’s possible to tell whether a label is correct and ready to be sent out.
The process of creating an accurate label is only one small part of the process of packaging and shipping out your products. Whether you’re manufacturing medications, non-perishable foods, or other products, the label creation is only one step. By ensuring that this step is completely accurately and properly checked to ensure that it meets your quality assurance requirements, you won’t have to worry about the label creation process as much. With significantly lowered false reject rates/heightened actual issue detection, production can run more smoothly and without worries about errors in the label inspection process. Your business can avoid the costly delays of incorrectly labeled products and have a more streamlined process for packaging, which can save you time and money.
If you’re looking for a label manufacturer that has high quality assurance standards and will provide you with the best quality of labels for your products, we are the company to work with. We have over three decades of experience working as label manufacturers and are always looking to help our customers get the best labels for their products. We have a rigorous quality assurance process and are able to work with a multitude of different materials and product types. Contact us today for more information about our label creation options and how we can help the production of your products smoother.