Examples of Past Projects
- Norand Corporation (now part of Intermec Technologies Corporation)
- Escort, Inc.
Systems Development, and Production
- IBM Corporation
- The Timken Company
- The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
- General Electric Company
- Affiliated Foods, Inc.
- BF Goodrich (now part of MNA, Inc.)
- Milacron Inc.
- USPL (later, part of Corning Incorporated, now part of 3M)
- UPS (United Parcel Service of America, Inc.)
- The Procter & Gamble Company
- Isotag Technology, Inc. (now part of Authentix, Inc.)
- NCR Corporation
- PhotoSecure, Inc.
- Eastman Chemical Company
- U.S. Department of Defense
- Spectra Systems Corporation
Norand Corporation (now part of Intermec Technologies Corporation)
Research and Development of the novel methods and products in the field of portable bar code reading technology. Work resulted in producing working prototypes of portable bar code reading engines based on CCD linear and matrix arrays. Intellectual property represented in 25 US patents assigned to Norand according to the contractual obligations.
The main products manufactured by Escort, Inc., are various models of police radar detectors. These are consumer products rated by the Consumer Report magazine. Modern models of radar detectors also provide detection of the laser guns used by traffic enforcement officers. Though the radar detection capability of Escort products was ranked at the highest level, the ability of advance warning of activated laser guns in the area was significantly lower. V.L. Engineering, Inc., working on a consulting agreement, was able to help. Just in three months of our development work, performance of Escort laser gun detection became the best in the industry.
Industrial Equipment, Systems Development, and Production
The IBM engineers approached us after their own attempts to create a needed gauges failed. We have developed and produced 18 gauging systems for quality assurance of metal springs for the keyboards. Each gauge was able to measure simultaneously the length of 32 springs, each 0.75″ long, with the accuracy of 0.0001″, and do necessary statistical data processing and reporting. The gauge consisted of the custom high precision gold plated mechanical apparatus, controlled by an embedded microcomputer and included high sensitivity custom electronics and display monitor. The IBM production plant had used the gauges for many years until the very end of the program.
The Timken Company
For many years the automation engineers of the Timken Company dreamed about creating a gauge for measuring length of a billet just after it leaves the mill and begins to move towards the saw station. At this time, the billet is red-hot and quickly destroys anything that comes close. The Timken R&D building is quite impressive in size and the people that occupy it are very skillful professionals. However, all attempts to create the needed gauge by Timken and by any outside company were unsuccessful. Thinking “outside the box”, we have offered a novel working concept based on infrared imaging, got the OK from Timken and designed and installed the equipment. Savings to Timken from reduced scarp paid for the system in a couple of months.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
For Goodyear, we have designed systems for reading OCR serial numbers printed inside the tires, while they move on the conveyors. The system comprised a number of CCD intelligent cameras, custom imaging probe with auto focus mechanism, custom designed image processing electronics and character recognition equipment. It also included electromechanical apparatus, stepper motors and associated controls.
General Electric Company
A number of QC systems based on machine vision. Systems used for controlling of critical dimensions of glass envelopes on the production lines of light bulbs and tubes.
Affiliated Foods, Inc.
We have developed the first in the world CCD imager based remote camera for decoding bar codes on the fast moving cartons in warehouse facilities. Some cameras worked in the refrigerator rooms. The quality of bar codes was very bad as the labels at that time had to be printed on the chain type printers. Our readers were in use for at least ten years, performing in extremely difficult dusty environment.
BF Goodrich (now part of MNA, Inc.)
Developed and installed a unique system for measuring profile of the rubber extrusion on the production line. The system was based on laser triangulation method and was comprised of HeNe lasers, optics, image cameras, image processing computer and video and data monitors. All components were aggregated in a NEMA enclosure. The system was operational at the Ardmore, OK, plant.
Developed, installed, and set up in operation a contactless system for identification of the steel caterpillar shoes at the assembly plant in Peoria, IL. The custom system was designed with the use of lasers, optics, imaging cameras and image processing computer. The custom firmware was developed in house.
USPL (later, part of Corning Incorporated, now part of 3M)
Developed, installed, and set up in operation a custom system for testing performance of the TV projection lenses. The system was able to measure Linearity and MTF (modulation transfer function) of the lenses. It was studying images on the projection screen of the size comparable to a movie theater screen.
Authentication and Identification Products
UPS (United Parcel Service of America, Inc.)
We have developed an image acquisition prototype of the very first hand held 2-D bar code reader based on the CCD image sensor. Our prototype demonstrated at the ScanTech trade show press conference in Chicago could perform well in conditions ranging from full sunlight to total darkness.
The Procter & Gamble Company
We have developed, installed, and set up in full operation a super high speed bar code reader for reading bar codes on redemption coupons. The coupons were moving by a transport machine with the fast speed of 10 items per second. The UPC bar code could be on either top or bottom side of the coupon and had a Code-128 extension. Our solution was based on two concurrently running TI DSP based computers. One was performing image acquisition and preprocessing at 30,000 scans per second. The other was busy decoding 32 channels, each channel simulating a virtual fixed scanner. A large number of readers have been installed. They performed many years until the end of the project.
Many types of detectors, authenticators, viewers, and invisible bar code readers have been developed, built and sold to Sicpa. These products were working with various invisible inks and taggants including UV and IR inks and inorganic taggants.
Isotag Technology, Inc. (now part of Authentix, Inc.)
Dozens of portable viewers, bar code readers and miniature detectors were built and sold to Authentix. These devices work with the ClirCode type invisible inks.
High sensitivity detector/authenticator for working with invisible secure taggant.
A number of orders from PhotoSecure have been fulfilled that included barcode readers of Wizard™ CT6 family, Cryptoreader™, hand held detectors for identification of UV fluorescent marks such as UV-to Red, UV-to-Green, UV-to-Yellow, and IR inks.
Eastman Chemical Company
We developed and sold to Eastman Chemical viewers, miniature detectors and hand held barcode readers, all working with the ClirCode invisible inks developed by Eastman Chemical.
U.S. Department of Defense
Various security materials and detecting equipment.
Spectra Systems Corporation
Hand held terminal for reading invisible 2-D bar code applied to glass bottles.