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American machine vision systems manufacturer Cognex has unveiled the first image-based automatic tag reader (ATR) system, calling it the Airport Baggage Handling Identification Solution (ABH-ID).

The latest Cognex technology will help overcome the limitations of the existing laser-based baggage ID systems, thereby providing significantly higher read rates.

The image-based solution also helps reduce costs incurred due to the manual delivery of lost or late checked baggage and uses technology which is recognised by the airline industry.

"Until now, reading transfer tags has been difficult due to damage."

This technology can read difficult to decode tags, thereby offering high read rates even at critical situations such as transfer lines, where tags are often damaged during the airplane loading and unloading process.

Cognex Airport Baggage Handling business development manager Jay Bouton said: "Until now, reading transfer tags has been difficult due to damage incurred during numerous handlings of each bag.

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"We have designed an identification and tracking system that provides the performance benefits of image-based readers that is competitively priced to laser-based systems."

This new technology features DataMan fixed-mount image-based barcode readers that have a solid-state design with no virtual requirement of maintenance, as compared to the traditional laser scanners equipped with moving parts that can easily wear out and fail.

It also includes Xpand technology that allows the solution enough flexibility to fit into space-constricted environments.

Xpand technology provides enhanced redundancy as well as improved field of view, which helps simplify the installation of the system and reduces overall cost.

Image: Cognex’s image-based automatic tag reader system can read damaged tags both quickly and accurately. Photo: courtesy of Cognex.