WO2002075637A1 - Reader with an image recording unit for reading a code and method for reading a code - Google Patents

Reader with an image recording unit for reading a code and method for reading a code Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2002075637A1
WO2002075637A1 PCT/DE2002/000957 DE0200957W WO02075637A1 WO 2002075637 A1 WO2002075637 A1 WO 2002075637A1 DE 0200957 W DE0200957 W DE 0200957W WO 02075637 A1 WO02075637 A1 WO 02075637A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
code
reader
characterized
according
reading
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/DE2002/000957
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Inventor
Jörg Küchen
Frank Müller
Original Assignee
Gavitec Ag
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to DE10113426.6 priority Critical
Priority to DE2001113426 priority patent/DE10113426A1/en
Application filed by Gavitec Ag filed Critical Gavitec Ag
Publication of WO2002075637A1 publication Critical patent/WO2002075637A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K7/00Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns
    • G06K7/10Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns by electromagnetic radiation, e.g. optical sensing; by corpuscular radiation
    • G06K7/10544Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns by electromagnetic radiation, e.g. optical sensing; by corpuscular radiation by scanning of the records by radiation in the optical part of the electromagnetic spectrum
    • G06K7/10712Fixed beam scanning
    • G06K7/10722Photodetector array or CCD scanning
    • G06K7/10732Light sources
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06KRECOGNITION OF DATA; PRESENTATION OF DATA; RECORD CARRIERS; HANDLING RECORD CARRIERS
    • G06K7/00Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns
    • G06K7/08Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns by means detecting the change of an electrostatic or magnetic field, e.g. by detecting change of capacitance between electrodes
    • G06K7/089Methods or arrangements for sensing record carriers, e.g. for reading patterns by means detecting the change of an electrostatic or magnetic field, e.g. by detecting change of capacitance between electrodes hand-held scanners

Abstract

The aim of the invention is to improve the reading of a code. To this end, a reader (1) comprises an image recording unit (9) for reading a code (15), especially for reading a bar code, a two-dimensional code, a three-dimensional code or a color code, which is characterized in that a spacer (7) between the image recording unit and the code is provided with at least one illumination device (14) that illuminates the code preferably from the side.

Description

Reading device with an image pickup unit for reading a code and method for reading a code

The invention relates to a reading apparatus comprising an image pickup unit for reading a code, in particular for reading a bar code, a zweidimensonalen code, a three dimensional code, or a color code, with a spacer for spaced reading of the code.

Marking and coding of an object becomes increasingly important with the progressive automation in many areas, particularly in the area of ​​automatic identification, is becoming increasingly important. Here, the object is provided with a machine-readable code, are applied to the marking of the object, various methods. On one hand, the marking of an object is performed indirectly, in which the code is applied to a label and the label is attached to the object to be marked. On the other hand, the mark is but applied directly to the object to be marked. In particular, the marking of an object in an industrial environment is becoming increasingly important, the direct labeling of the object is compared to a use of labels preferably used for marking of an object.

However, the direct labeling of an article has the disadvantage in that, increased requirements is delivered in the area of ​​the reading ability of an apparatus which is used for reading a code. Such a reader is for example, a scanner is used which stationary or mobile.

The increased requirements to a reading device resulting for example from the fact that the quality of a surface of a selected counter article from the manufacturing process dependent and is normally not adapted to the requirements of the reader. But also the variety of methods for direct labeling of an object increases the demands on a reader, as it must cover the entire range of labeling methods. For example, a code is applied with paint, baked with a laser or engraved with a tool or pressed.

An important class of apparatus for reading a code comprises the actual reader and a device for lighting the coded surface. Here, there is the reading device consists essentially of an image pickup unit, which is connected to a computing unit. The image pickup unit usually consists of a lens and a light-sensitive sensor by means of a semiconductor technology (CCD or CMOS) is made. The lighting unit may in this case be firmly connected to the reading device and / or the image pickup unit or else be arranged independently.

Here, the light emitted from the illumination unit and / or other light source in the region of said coded surface is partially reflected. This reflected light is picked up by the image pickup unit and processed by the computing unit for the purpose of code reading. A suitable illumination of the encoded surface is necessary so that the imaging unit can receive a clear picture of the code. A clear picture of the code in turn, is essential for a reliable read result. In principle, a reading possible even without lighting unit alone by using the scattered light of the ambient light. but a lighting unit is always required when fully reliable code readings and largely independent of reading skills required by the ambient light. In general, different surfaces and different methods of marking require different types of lighting to achieve a safe reading. Conventional code readers preferably using illumination devices mounted close to the image pickup unit, wherein the illumination devices preferably emit diffused light.

The arrangement of one or more light sources in the vicinity of the receiving unit is constructionally relatively easy to realize and thus results in a compact reader. However provides a reading apparatus using a frontal diffuse lighting, high demands on the quality of the coded surface and on the quality of the marking. Specifically, the surface of the coded area must be such that it reflects the incident light diffusely and the information of the code-containing components of the mark must be clearly distinguished in terms of their reflectivity. Only under these conditions it is ensured that the image captured by the image pickup unit the code image is reflected in sufficient clarity and the individual elements of the code can be distinguished from the computational unit. differ, for example, the individual code elements of the mark with respect to their reflectivity only insufficiently from each other and from the background code, a reading using a frontal illumination is very difficult or even impossible. The same applies when the marker is for example applied on a specular surface. In this case, the image pickup unit and the lighting device can reflect in the area of ​​the label on said coded surface, thereby making a correct reading of the code impossible. It has been found that a thus constructed reader for reading codes of high contrast is largely well suited for diffusely reflecting surfaces. In particular codes applied in general with such a device can be read by means of a laser printer or an ink jet printer on matte paper. The reading low-contrast codes or the reading of codes on reflective surfaces is preparing a thus-constructed device but generally trouble.

Such problematic cases are present in particular in the preferred in industrial environments directly marked codes. The material and the quality of the coded area can be in direct marking no longer be freely chosen, but are defined largely by the conditions of the to be labeled article. The choice of a labeling method is limited, in general, also by various boundary conditions. Such a label should be as inexpensive as possible executable that to be marked items must not be impaired in their function and any existing requirements for the durability of the mark must be fulfilled by the mark. For example, both the indirect label by means of labels and labeling with ink deposited for permanent marking of a metal object from mostly because so that the required durability can not be obtained. If the object has to absorb mechanical forces, a laser marking for security is not always permitted. For these reasons, the markers are often engraved, etched or pressed.

Engraved, etched or pressed codes are often characterized by the fact that the consequent change in the surface changes the reflectivity of the encoded surface only slightly. As a result, there is a low-contrast marking, which is a marker in the encoded area only has a low contrast between the light and dark areas, which is why such code is difficult simply can not read with a conventional reader or.

Meanwhile, mobile readers which have a spacer which significantly simplifies the reading of a code exist. Herein, the spacer has a length which positions the image pickup unit of the reader at a defined distance to the code to be read, so that the code to be read is located in the focus region of the Bildaufhahmeeinheit of the reader. Thereby, the positioning of the reader becomes a code to be read significantly simplified relatively because a complicated leveling off of the reader is superfluous relative to the code. But even those te Lesegerä- have the disadvantage that the lighting means are arranged in the vicinity of the image pickup unit, so that the code is only illuminated parallel to the image pickup axis of the image pickup unit. The invention is therefore based on the object to develop a reader so on, that a reading of a code is the method by which the code is implemented indifferently on an object, in particular of an engraved, pressed or etched code, and / or no matter how the surface is constituted of the object is reliably ensured.

The object is according to the device achieved by a reader having an image pickup unit for reading a code, in particular for reading a bar code, a two-dimensional code, a three dimensional code, or a color code, with a spacer between the image pickup unit and the code comprises at least an illumination device, which code the preferably illuminated laterally.

Under an illumination device is understood to mean preferably an active equipped with luminous bodies component which actively emits light.

It is understood that any information bearing mark can be read with the inventive reading device suitable to "read" with means of artificial vision. In particular is here to be understood by a reading of a so-called plain text mark (OCR type). The reader further is not only suitable for reading a bar code, a two-dimensional code, a three dimensional code, or a color code, but rather also a matrix code, a plain text, or any other label which is suitable to provide an article with a machine-readable information.

The reading device according to the invention is characterized in a position to sufficiently illuminate a code, which is realized for example by plastic deformation of the object surface, so that a reliable reading of the code is made possible. The lateral lighting the embossed in the form of a surface change structuring elements of the code stand out, so even engraved, etched or pressed codes can be read without problems. This lighting unit allows that even a low contrast code or even a code that would have absolutely no more contrast with frontal lighting, is read.

A conventional reading device with a frontal diffuse illumination device is difficult to be able to realize indentations in the surface of an object and to distinguish it from a position in the surface of the article, which has no recess. However, due to the lateral illumination means of the newly developed reading device it is possible to descriptions for example Erhe- and so illuminate wells coded surface so that a high-contrast density change occurs, which is detected by a sensor of the reader to a sufficient extent. With a conventional reading device a code, which is applied to a shiny or reflective surface, generally also not be read. This is because there are not enough lift the reflective regions of the encoded surface of a recorded with a frontal illumination device codes of marked areas. The reflective regions of the coded area on the sensor generate an image of the illumination device and the image pickup unit. This image is neither uniform nor uniform light dark, which significantly complicates code reading. In addition, reflections of the illumination device lead to very bright reflections. These reflections can be so strong that they exceed the dynamic range of the imaging unit and / or outshine the information-carrying code components on the sensor and thus make a reading impossible.

The reading device according to the invention is in contrast also able to sufficiently illuminate a code which is applied to a shiny or specular surface, so that a reliable reading of the code is made possible. The light emitted from the lateral lighting light is reflected from the specular surface at a shallow angle and therefore does not reach the image pickup unit. In the light-sensitive sensor, the reflective regions of the coded surface therefore appear dark and stand out clearly from the marked areas in the code from which in turn appear brighter on the sensor.

It is advantageous if the reading device also further comprises an illumination unit, which illuminates the code parallel to the optical imaging axis of an image pickup unit of the reader. It is understood that the illumination device of the spacer can also be used without a conventional illumination unit of the reader.

It is possible that a conventional reading device is subsequently being-equipped with a spacer having a lighting device, so that it is not necessary to discard a else functioning reader and replacing it with a new investment.

A further embodiment provides that the illumination device is arranged at the end code of the spacer. Conventional readers have an illumination device in close proximity to the imaging unit. In this way, many codes are illuminated in a non sufficiently limited so that a large number of codes can not or only insufficiently be read. Characterized that the illumination device is arranged at the end code of the spacer, it is possible, the code to be read rather from a radial direction - illuminate than is the case in conventional readers - with respect to the image pickup axis. If the lighting device on the code side end of the spacer disposed, it has naturally a greater proximity to the code to be read than to the image pickup unit.

The inventive lighting unit of the code to be read is illuminated not only from a frontal diffuse light, but the code to be read is illuminated additionally or exclusively by light incident from a radial direction to the code to be read. This leads to a much better differentiation of the marked areas with respect to the light incident on the light quantity sensor, especially in an engraved or embossed code so that an object is positively identified, which is provided with such a marking variant.

It is particularly advantageous if the lighting device is designed as a ring light. The ring-shaped arrangement of the light-emitting elements results in a substantially homogeneous illumination of the encoded area in the range of the field of view of the imaging unit. Due to the lateral illumination of the encoded Hache the code reading performance of the reader is substantially increased, wherein for example, codes are read easily on a reflecting surface. Also lasered codes can be read much better by the additional or exclusive face illumination.

If the illumination device is designed such that it illuminates, for example, the code to be read from all sides, an unfavorable formation of shadows is counteracted, as may for example result from a one-sided illumination of the encoded area.

It is furthermore advantageous when the illumination means as illumination elements at least one light emitting diode (LED) which is. This shall be realized a ring light, it is advantageous if this is done by a succession of a plurality of light emitting diodes. The use of at least one light emitting diode for example, has the advantage that a light emitting diode has a very high luminance at a relatively small size. This is particularly advantageous because the lighting device should preferably be positioned immediately adjacent to said coded surface, and it can come at a large lighting device to a visual obstruction, since the user of the Lesegerä- tes the view on the coded surface by excessive lighting device becomes difficult.

A further advantage is that speaks for the use of at least one light emitting diode, is obtained when the light emitting diode used emits monochromatic light. This offers the possibility to decrease with corresponding design measures the impact of originating from the stray ambient light. It may, for example, on the lens of the receiving unit, a filter to be attached, which has a high permeability for the light emitted by the LED monochrome light. Light, which does not correspond to the monochromatic light from the LED is prevented by the filter to get up to the lens of the receiving unit and thus not even registered by the image sensor. For example, red LEDs are used to illuminate the coded surface, a red filter is placed in front of the lens of the pickup unit. Here, an increase in code reading rate can also be achieved, so that a time-consuming code reading repetition is eliminated. A further embodiment provides that the lighting device lighting bodies of different luminescent color having.

According to the invention it is proposed that the illumination device has at least one lighting body, wherein the lighting fixture preferably emits monochromatic light.

It is understood that any other technical light source for illuminating the coded surface can be used if this brings advantages in terms of readability of code.

Lighting bodies of different luminescent color are particularly advantageous if color codes are read. Even in the case of using an image pickup unit, but which can not accommodate differences in color differences in brightness only, a reading is possible through the use of colored light of different wavelengths. For example, the lighting unit on red-emitting and green glowing illumination body controlled by the reader which can be switched individually. , The color code for example, green or red areas on, these areas can be identified by the different light appearing on the sensor depending on the type of the connected lighting projection by the reader. In this way, original color blind reader is treated by the inventive lighting device in a position to read now also color codes.

It is also advantageous, when the spacer has means of the illumination device is arranged in or on which a driving energy states. Since the energy supply is preferably realized by a thin two-wire line, it is particularly important that these delicate power supply of the lighting device is protected by an appropriate device. For example, the spacer has a pipe connection between the reader and the illumination device in which the energy is arranged giezufuhr. It is also possible that the spacer has a groove in which a wire cable is arranged embedded, for example by means of a silicone paste.

A preferred embodiment provides that the illumination device has a connection to a computing unit of the reader. The computing unit takes over the control of the lighting device, so that the illumination device optimally cooperates with the receiving unit. The connection of the illumination device can hereby also be wired, wherein the wired connection is disposed in the means of the spacer, in which the energy states drove the illumination device is arranged. It is also possible that the lighting unit has a wireless connection to the processing unit.

The dimensions of the spacer are basically optional. However, to be chosen length of the spacer depends on the characteristics of the receiving unit. It is particularly advantageous if the length of the spacer is chosen so that the mark in the field range of the image pickup unit is located if the code-side end of the spacer is on the coded surface or at a small distance in front of said coded surface. At the end code, the inner diameter of the spacer is that the field of view of the receiving unit is not or only slightly affected by the spacer so selected.

A preferred execution variant, therefore, that the spacer has a length dimension of less than 150 mm, preferably a length dimension between 50 mm and 100 mm including. In this way, that the reading device for the reading is brought into a favorable distance from the coded surface is ensured. Here, it is advantageous if the length of the spacer is configured such that the reading device is in a field range of the receiving unit, when the spacer rests on said coded surface. It has been found that a reading distance of 50 mm to 100 mm is favorable for the reading typically used markers.

It is particularly advantageous if the inside diameter of the spacer is dimensioned such that the field of view of the camera is not or only slightly affected by the spacer itself. Advantageously for this purpose, the spacer, preferably at the end code, an internal diameter of more than 20 mm, preferably an inner diameter of more than 30 mm.

Moreover, it is advantageous if the spacers preferably at the end code, having an inner diameter of less than 60 mm, preferably an inner diameter of less than 50 mm. This results in a compact design of the reader and the spacer is obtained. In turn, the handling of the reader is considerably facilitated, especially when Arbei- th over a longer period with the reader is beneficial.

Furthermore, it is advantageous if the spacer is disposed in the direction of its longitudinal axis displaced relative to the reader, so that the spacer, so that a reading of the code takes place by a movement in the direction of its longitudinal axis to the reader toward this example, triggers by means of a pressure switch , Here, the pressure switch is arranged for example between the spacer and the housing of the reading device, wherein the spacer is moved during placement on a coded surface in the direction of the reading device and operates the pressure switch. The invention proposes that the spacer includes means for activating the image recording unit and / or the illumination device. Preferably, this means is arranged at the end code of the spacer. For example, the device comprises a pressure switch or a sensor, so that upon contact with said coded surface, or an approximation to the coded surface, the image recording unit and / or lighting unit to be activated.

It is particularly advantageous if the spacer having at least one end, preferably at the end code is a guard ring. Since the code-side end of the spacer frequently in contact with the selected object, it is advantageous to protect this part of the spacer particularly against mechanical stress. In particular, if the spacer is made of a plastic is prepared. This guard ring may be used, for example, as a planar bearing surface of the code reading device on an encoded surface. It is possible that the protective ring is a reinforcement of the spacer, particularly if the spacer is made of a wire rack.

According to a further embodiment, it is advantageous if the guard ring has a device which is suitable for activating the image recording unit and / or the illumination device. For example, a pressure switch or a sensor is arranged on the side facing code surfaces, so that upon contact with said coded surface, or when approaching the memory area, the image recording unit and / or the illumination device to be activated.

It is particularly advantageous if the lighting means is disposed in the vicinity of the guard ring is. For example, also to protect the lighting device from mechanical stress and a possible blinding of the user to be avoided by the lighting device, it is particularly advantageous to provide a guard ring at the end code, for example, a transparent tube. It is advantageous if the size of the ring is chosen so that the illumination device is covered by the protective ring and thereby experiences an optimum protection.

According to a further preferred feature of the guard ring can be a light-absorbing material, preferably an opaque material. In this way, an otherwise possible blinding of the user is avoided by the illumination device. Further, it is advantageous if the guard ring is designed so that it prevents light radiation along the optical axis for receiving recording unit back. For this purpose, the protective ring is for example designed such that a portion of the guard ring between the receiving unit and the lighting device is arranged.

It has been found that it is advantageous, if the guard ring has means which prevents a light emission of at least one illumination device along the optical receiving axis. Advantageous way, when the guard ring is designed so that it prevents the exception axis coded surface toward a light emission along the optical-up is. For this purpose, the protective ring is for example designed such that a portion of the guard ring covers the code end of the transparent tube.

It is advantageous if independent illumination units are spaced from each other in the immediate vicinity of the image pickup unit has at least two, preferably two. These can be so interact that they illuminate the area code are particularly advantageous. For example, the lighting units transmit alternately of light, wherein the illumination units, for example, additionally comprise differently colored lighting fixture. Here, the lighting units are realized by a respective independent module each with its own lighting fixture series. However, it is also possible that only a part of the lighting body of a single lighting unit is activated and interacts alternately with another part of the lighting body of the same lighting unit. Thus, a second separate lighting unit exists not real, but here is only simulated.

It has been found that it is advantageous if the lighting units of different colors lighting comprise tung body. This is particularly advantageous if a color code to be read. Even in the case of using an image pickup unit, but which can not accommodate differences in color differences in brightness only, a reading of the code is possible by the use of colored light of different wavelengths. For example, the lighting unit on red-emitting and green glowing illumination body controlled by the reader which can be switched individually. , The color code for example, green and red areas on these areas could be safely identified by the different light appearing on the sensor depending on the type of the connected lighting projection by the reader. In this way, original color blind reader is treated by the inventive lighting device in a position to read now also color codes.

The different lighting units are for example so interact that the lighting units individually or alternately emit light in different combinations, wherein the illumination unit additionally illuminate the code even with different colored lighting fixtures. It is particularly advantageous if the illumination devices are according to an algorithmic process, preferably from the decoding unit of the reading device is activated and controlled is.

It will be understood that the interaction described in the foregoing extends, for example, on the lighting unit at the code end of the spacer. It is further proposed according to the invention that the spacer is constructed at least at one end, preferably at the end code, narrower. By the narrower design of the guard ring may advantageously be attached to the spacer, since the spacer receives the guard ring at least in parts in it. For example, the spacers to the code end a chamfer which is designed such that the guard ring can be at least partially disposed in the chamfer. This has the advantage that a much more intimate connection is established between the protective ring and the spacer.

It is particularly advantageous if the spacer comprises a transparent tube. The transparent tube, for example, provides excellent protection against contamination compared to the image acquisition unit, but also against contamination of the lighting device. Also, the positioning of the reading device is considerably simplified since in this case it is possible to see through the tube, and thus the user can easily check the position of the reading device to said coded surface, and optionally easily correct the position by the arrangement of a transparent tube can ,

For example, the transparent tube to protect the code-side end of a guard ring, so that the tube is protected from wear. Preferably, the guard ring made of a mechanically more resilient material is made as the tube or it has a resilient surface.

A further embodiment provides that at least a part of the transparent tube is colored. This is particularly advantageous when a disturbing influence of stray light is to be further reduced. The coloration of the tube is in this case possible, for example by direct coloring of a material. But applying a different color coating on the transparent tube or depositing a film on the transparent tube may cause a coloring of the tube.

It is particularly advantageous if the color of the transparent tube, stops short of the code end of the pipe so that the user is facilitated positioning of the reader, because the view is not limited to the memory area by the color of the transparent tube in this area is ,

Here, it is for example possible that red light-emitting diodes are used to illuminate the coded surface, a red filter is preferably arranged in front of the camera lens and the transparent tube has a blue / green color. In addition, a preferred embodiment provides that the reader comprises a pistol-shaped having a head portion and a handle portion. This makes it possible to keep the reader especially comfortable and easy to position and secure from a coded area succeed.

It is advantageous when the head portion has a fastening means with which the spacer can be arranged detachably on the head portion. This makes it possible depending on the application to exchange a first spacer against another spacer fast and easy.

It is understood that the attachment means may comprise any type of quick-fasteners which enable a quick and easy replacement of Abstandhaltem. For example, the attachment means comprises a bayonet fitting, a press-lock or a thread, with which the spacer can be quickly attached to the head area.

In order to structurally particularly simple manner, the power supply of an illumination device of a spacer, it is advantageous if the fastening means has an energy-conducting contact device, which provides the power supply for the illumination device of the spacer.

Moreover, it is advantageous if a decoder and / or an optical signal transmitter is arranged in the head region.

It is understood that the decoding means, as above mentioned can be operated externally outside of the reader, and the reader is connected by means of a suitable interface to the external decoder.

It is advantageous when the optical signal generator comprises a multicolored light-emitting diode wherein a red-emitting light-emitting diode indicating a willingness reader and a green glowing light emitting diode successful reading of a code.

Cumulatively or alternatively, it is advantageous if an acoustic signal transmitter is arranged in the head region or in the handle area. By means of the acoustic signal generator a user can display different operating states of the reader.

The inventive object is furthermore solved by a transparent tube having an illumination device, wherein the illumination device comprises a main illumination axis and the main axis of illumination has an angle to the longitudinal axis of the transparent tube. Preference, the lighting device at one end of the transparent tube is arranged so that it illuminates the immediate area in the vicinity of the transparent tube advantageous.

It is particularly advantageous if the angle has a value between 45 ° and 90 °, preferably a value of more than 85 °, is. Particularly, when the angle of the main illumination axis contributes more than 85 ° sawn, the coded surface is illuminated particularly favorable, as the coded surface is thereby illuminated laterally substantially.

A preferred embodiment of the transparent tube provides a means for fixing the transparent tube to a reader for reading a code, in particular for reading a bar code, a two-dimensional code, a three dimensional code, or a color code before. By fixing the transparent pipe to the reading device reading a code is greatly simplified because the transparent tube defines the distance between an image pickup unit of the reader and the code such that the code is located at a reading at the optimum focusing range of the imaging unit.

It will be understood that the transparent tube accumu- all of the features described above in the text lines or may have individually.

The object of the invention is achieved secondly by a method for reading a code, in particular for reading a bar code, a two-dimensional code, a three dimensional code, or a color code, by means of a reading device using an image pickup unit, wherein the code is illuminated at an angle to the image pickup axis of the image pickup unit becomes. Characterized in that the code is now laterally, radially illuminated, a low contrast area is coded in such a well-lit such that it can be read without problems by means of the receiving unit of the reader. This is particularly advantageous, since, in particular a mobile employed hand-held reader must read a plurality of different types of labels. For example, a handheld device without any problems can now be used to optimally illuminate a highly glossy or specular coded area or it can be used to read a label that is realized on the basis of an engraved, etched, pressed or punched codes on an object ,

It is particularly advantageous if the code is illuminated at an angle between 45 ° and 90 °, preferably at an angle of more than 85 °. In such an illumination of a code an engraved or stamped-code can be read particularly well because the ER is hereby giving lighter and darker areas of the engraved or punched codes are particularly well highlighted for the imaging unit. It is understood that any information bearing mark can be read with the inventive method, the information may be "read" by means of artificial vision. Such information carrying tags are meant in the sense of the invention as a code. This is especially true for a reading of a so-called " plain text "mark (OCR type).

it is advantageous also when the lighting device is switched on and off algorithmically. This is particularly advantageous if the illumination mode is set such that at least one front and at least one lateral light in rapid succession Toggle alternately on and off. Here, the imaging unit is alternately offered an image recording with frontal and side lighting, whereby the success of a good read is significantly increased even with a problematic rule mark.

Especially with an illumination method with multiple lighting devices, it is advantageous that different illumination modes can be set to produce an optimum lighting adaptation to different applications. For example, reading device according to the invention is operated such that a frontal lighting alone illuminates the code to be read, that a seitli- before lighting illuminates the code to be read alone or that the frontal lighting and edge lighting jointly illuminate the code to be read.

Ultimately, it is proposed that at least two lighting units of the reader algorithmically light, preferably monochromatic light emit. By this procedure, the illuminated area code can advantageously be illuminated, since the reader can select for improved readability between another lighting mode at least. It is understood that this method can also be used independently from the other process variants.

Further advantages, objects and features of the present invention will be described using the following explanation of the attached drawing, in which by way of example an inventive code reading device is schematically illustrated.

It shows

Figure 1 is a schematic side view of a reading device,

Figure 2A schematically shows an arrangement of a protection ring,

Figure 2B schematically illustrates an alternative arrangement of a guard ring 3 is a perspective side view of a reading device,

4 shows a perspective top view of a reading device,

Figure 5 and 6 show two schematic views from below of the inventive reader in different perspectives,

Figure 7 is a transparent tube in a perspective side view and

Figure 8 is a schematic plan view of an alternative reader in the form of a reading gun.

1 shows a reading device 1, a decoding unit 2 and a PC 3. The reader 1, the decoding unit 2 and the PC 3 are connected to each other with a control coil 4 and 5 respectively. The reader includes fully, a cylindrical metal housing 6 and a Plexiglas ® tubing 7, that is, a tube made of clear plastic. At the lower end of the Plexiglas ® -Rohrs 7 is a guard ring 8 is arranged.

In the metal casing 6 are an image pickup unit 9 and two frontal lighting units 10 and 11. The two frontal lighting units 10 and 11 are connected to each other such that they alternately emit monochrome light. Furthermore, the cylindrical metal housing 6 has its outer surface a trigger 12 as well as on the upper end side of the interface 13 to the decoding unit. 2

Integrated into the guard ring 8 is a ring illumination 14, which consists of a plurality of light emitting diodes.

The reader 1 is located with its guard ring 8 on to a coded surface 15 of an object.

Here, the distance between the image pickup unit 9 and the coded surface 15 is set to 70 mm, so that the encoded surface is in the focus range of the imaging unit 9 15th When the trigger 12 is actuated, the lighting units 10 and 11 and the ring illumination 14 illuminate the invention, the coded surface 15 such that the image pickup unit 9 can receive the code. The inner diameter of the Plexiglas ® -Rohrs 7 and the guard ring 8 is sized with diameter of 32 mm, that the field of view of the image pickup unit 9 is not substantially restricted. In this case, therefore, the field of view of the image pickup unit 9 is designed so that the code on the memory area 15 can be read without hindrance. Figure 2A shows a part of the wall of the Plexiglas -Rohres 7, is shown schematically at the codeseitigem end 16 of the guard ring 8 in a departure. The shield ring 8 is in this case shaped so that it closes off the Plexiglas ® tubing 7 in the form of a flat plane and thus on the one hand protects the pipe and on the other hand, a light emission of the ring illumination 14 along the optical receiving axis to the coded surface toward effectively prevented. Furthermore, the ring illumination 14 is positioned within the protection ring. 8 Here, the illumination ring 14 is sheathed on the one of the guard ring 8 and on the other of the Plexiglas ® tubing 7, so that the ring illumination 14 is arranged protected from contamination and damage. Spaced from the ring illumination 14, the imaging axis 17 of the image pickup unit 9 is shown. Perpendicular to the imaging axis 17, the coded surface 15 is shown schematically.

Also shown is the main illumination direction 14 'of the illumination device 14, wherein the main direction of illumination 14' forms with the imaging axis 17 an angle 17 '. The illumination device 14 illuminates the code on the coded surface 15 of the side ago.

The Figure 2B also shows a part of the wall of a Plexiglas ® -Rohres 7 ', at the end code 16', a guard ring 8 shown schematically 'in a departure. The guard ring 8 'is in this case also formed so as the Plexiglas ® tubing 7' terminates in the form of a flat plane and thus on the one hand protects the pipe and on the other hand, a light emission of the ring illumination 14 along the optical receiving axis to the coded surface toward effectively prevented. Furthermore, it is within the protection ring 8 'is a ring illumination 14 is arranged ". The Plexiglas ® tubing 7' has in the region 16 'has a considerably smaller outside diameter. Therefore, it results that the code end 16' ® of Plexiglas -Rohres 7 ' on the outer lateral surface a material recess along the surface of the Plexiglas ® -Rohres 7 'is present. In this material recess of the protection ring 8' is connected to the ring illumination 14 "positioned at least partially. Here, too, the illumination ring 2 is "on the one of the guard ring 8 'and the other of the Plexiglas ® tubing 7' coated, so that the lighting Ringbe- 14" is arranged in this case also from contamination and damage protection. Advantageously, in this arrangement, the "emitted from the light ring 14 light must not ® through the entire material thickness of the Plexiglas -Rohres 7 'lit, but only part of the Plexiglas ® - Materials7' penetrate Here, the emitted light experiences less attenuation and / or. a lower deflection by the Plexiglas ® material. This results, among other things therefore that the "emitted from the illumination ring light 14 not through the complete wall thickness of the Plexiglas ® -Rohres T must pass. Is arranged also the guard ring 8 builds' with respect to its diameter narrower than a guard ring 8 which ® on the outer periphery of the Plexiglas -Rohres. 7 The metal housing of the reading device 1 shown in Figure 3 has a lid 18 and a lid 19 with which the end faces of the metal case 6 be limited. On the lateral surface 20 of the metal case 6, a shutter 12 is placed with which the reading of the code is triggered. On the lid 18, the interface 13 is centrally disposed by means of which a connection between the reader 1 and the decoder unit 2 is manufactured. On the lower side in the region of the lid 19 is the Plexiglas ® - pipe 7 of the reading device 1 is arranged. At the end of the Plexiglas ® code side -Rohres 7, the guard ring 8 which receives the ring illumination 14 is located. The ring light 14 consists in this case of a plurality of aligned light-emitting diodes. Furthermore, the Plexiglas ® tubing 7 is a groove 20 in which a supply of energy from the barrel-shaped metal casing 6 extends to the annular illumination fourteenth

The barrel-shaped metal housing 6 shown in Figure 4 has a lid 18. The lid 18 is this case by means of four screws 21, 22, 23 and 24 are positively connected to the metal housing. 6 two indicator lamps 25 and 26 are disposed on the cover 18, which indicate the status of the reading of the code visually. Here, the indicator lamp 25 marked by emitting a red light that the code has not been read. The indicator lamp 26, however, signaled by a green light, that the code has been read. In the center of the lid 18, the interface 13 is arranged, the interface 13 has at its sides two threaded bushes 27 and 28, by which a connector can be positively so connected to the interface 13 and with the entire reading device. 1

The lower portion of the reading device 1 shown in Figure 5 shows schematically the protection ring 8 ® at the end of the Plexiglas co- deseitigen -Rohres 7. Significantly, the individual LEDs of the illumination ring 14 can be seen in the guard ring. 8 At the other end of the Plexiglas ® -Rohres 7 can be seen the bottom cover 19 of the metal casing 6. The cover 19 is screwed by two screws 29 and 30 to the metal housing. 6 In the area of ​​the lid 19 is the frontal illumination unit 10 and 11, which is composed of a plurality of light emitting diodes. Centrally arranged in the metal case is reasonable, the camera lens 31 to the image pickup unit. 9

The lower portion of the reading device 1 shown in Figure 6 is indicated, the metal case 6 and the Plexiglas ® tubing 7. The Plexiglas ® tubing 7 here has a groove 20, in which the energy supply of the ring illumination 14 runs. The ring light 14 is in this case between the Plexiglas ® tubing 7 and the guard ring. 8

The plexiglass shown in Figure 7 ® tubing standing on a coded surface 32. At the lower end of the Plexiglas ® -Rohres 21 there is a an illumination device 33, wherein the illumination device 33, a plurality of lighting fixtures 34 (exemplary for all other light emitting body is only light fittings numbered) having. The lighting body 34 has in this case a main axis of illumination 35, which has an angle 36 ® to the longitudinal axis 37 of the Plexiglas -Rohres 31st The illumination device 33 is lit with their lighting fixtures 34 the code of the coded surface 32 laterally out.

At the other end of the Plexiglas ® -Rohres 31 is disposed at a reader, a means 38 for fixing the Plexiglas ® -Rohres 31st The means 38 for fixing the Plexiglas ® -Rohres 31 has two tabs 39 and 40 which serve ® for adjusting the Plexiglas -Rohres 31 at a reader.

The read gun 41 (Figure 8) comprises a head portion 42 and a handle portion 43. The head portion 42 of the scanning gun 41 has an image pickup unit 9 (see Figure 1) in the form of a digital camera, a first illumination device 10 and 11 (see Figure 1) to the frontal illumination of the code, a decoder 44 and a multi-color light emitting diode 45.

By means of a connector 46 is but a ring light attachment 47 disposed on the head portion 42 of the scanning gun 41 detachably.

The ring light bonnet 47 includes a ring light 48, which is arranged at the end of the code ring light bonnet 47 and illuminates a code to be read side. The ring light attachment 47 is in this case a transparent tube, comprising a guard ring 47A at least at the end code.

In order to provide the lighting fixture 49 of the ring light 48 with power, the connector 46 to a contact device 50th By means of the contact means 50 is an electric power supply between the reader gun 41 and the replaceable ring light attachment 47 ensures that as the ring light 48 is supplied in a structurally particularly simple manner quickly and safely with energy.

The multicolor light-emitting diode 45 is particularly suitable for display of a read readiness, as well as for displaying a read code. For example, the multicolor light emitting diode 45 lights up red when read readiness and, after reading a code it turns green.

By such a simple plug connection 46 of the ring light tower can be offered 48 as an accessory in addition to scanning gun 41st Thus, for example, the read pistol 41 may be loaded depending on the application with different ring light recordings 47th The handle portion 43 of the scanning gun 41 allows a user easy handling of the scanning gun 41 and comprises, for triggering the reading gun 41 has a switch 51 on. Advantageously, the switch 51 is located relatively high up on the handle portion 43 near the head portion 42 and is ergonomically designed such that for easy loading and quemen pressing a finger of a user to the switch 51 can easily put around. In addition, the handle portion 43 includes a beeper 52, with which an operating state of the reading gun can be displayed audibly 41st In this embodiment, the beeper 52 is arranged laterally on the handle portion 43rd Preferably, however, the pager is in the rear, arranged the range switch 51 is remote.

Cumulatively or alternatively to the internal decoding unit 44 has read the pistol 41 a socket 53 for receiving a connecting plug 54 and a connecting cable 55th

By means of the connector plug 54 and the connecting cable 55 is the reading gun 43 supplied with electrical energy and output, where appropriate, the read code.

Comprises an embodiment of a reader gun 41 no internal decoding unit 44 is transmitted to the decoding, a reaped code to a remote decoding server 2 via the connector 54 (see Figure 1).

Claims

claims:
1. Reading device (1) having an image pickup unit (9) for reading a code, in particular for reading a bar code, a two-dimensional code, a three dimensional code, or a color code, characterized in that a spacer between the image recording unit (9) and the code at least an illumination device (14; 33), which preferably illuminates the code laterally.
2. reader (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the illumination device (14; 33) on the code side end (16) of the spacer is arranged.
3. reader (1) according to one of claims 1 or 2, characterized in that the lighting means (14; 33) is designed as a ring light.
4. reader (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that the illumination device (14; 33) as illumination elements at least one light emitting diode (LED) has.
5. reader (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 4, characterized in that the illumination device (14; 33) has at least one lighting body, wherein the lighting fixture preferably emits monochromatic light.
6. reader (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 5, characterized in that the illumination device (14; 33) comprises lighting bodies of different luminescent color.
7. reader (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 6, characterized in that the spacer means (20) in and / or on which a power supply of the lighting means (14; 33) is arranged.
8. reader (1) according to claims 1 to 7, characterized in that the illumination device (14; 33) a connection to a computing unit of the reader (1).
9. reader (1) according to one of claims 1 to 8, characterized in that the Abstandhal- ter having a length dimension of less than 150 mm, preferably has a length dimension of between 50 mm and 100 mm.
10. reader (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 9, characterized in that the spacer is preferably at the code end, an inner diameter of more than 20 mm, preferably an inner diameter of more than 30 mm, comprising.
11. reader (1) according to one of claims 1 to 10, characterized in that the Spacer holder preferably on the code side end, an inner diameter of less than 60 mm, preferably an inner diameter of less than 50 mm, comprising.
12 is arranged reading device (1) according to one of claims 1 to 11, characterized in that the spacer in the direction of its longitudinal axis displaced relative to the reader (1).
13. reader (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 12, characterized in that the holder Spacer means for activating the image pickup unit (9) and / or lighting device (10, 11; 14; 33).
14. reader (1) according to one of claims 1 to 13, characterized in that the spacer has at least one end, preferably at the end of code (16), a guard ring (8, 8 ').
15. reader (1) according to claim 14, characterized in that the protective ring (8, 8 ') a means for activating the image recording unit (9) and / or the illumination device (10, 11; 14; 33).
16. reader (1) according to any one of claims 14 or 15, characterized in that in the vicinity of the protective ring (8, 8 '), the illumination device (14; 33) is arranged.
17. reader (1) according to any one of claims 14 to 16, characterized in that the protective ring (8, 8 ') of a light absorbing material, preferably an opaque material having.
18. reader (1) according to any one of claims 14 to 17, characterized in that the protective ring (8, 8 ') having a means comprising a light emission of at least one lighting installations direction (14; 33) along the optical receiving axis (17; 37) is prevented.
19. reader (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 18, characterized in that in the immediate vicinity of the image pickup unit (9) comprises at least two, preferably two independent illumination units (10, 11) are arranged.
20. reader (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 19, characterized in that at least one illumination unit (10, 11) of different colors lighting fixture.
21. reader (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 20, characterized in that the spacer at least at one end, preferably at the end of code (16) is narrower.
22. reader (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 21, characterized in that the spacer is a transparent tube (7; 31).
23. reader (1) according to claim 22, characterized in that at least part of the transparent tube (7; 31) is colored.
24. reader (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 23, characterized in that the reading device (1) has a pistol-shaped having a head portion (42) and a handle portion (43).
25. reader (1) according to claim 24, characterized in that the head portion (42) comprises a Befes- actuating means (46), with which the spacer can be arranged detachably on the head portion (42).
26. reader (1) according to claim 25, characterized in that the fastening means (46) having an energy conducting contact means (50) which provides a power supply for the illumination device (48) of the spacer.
27. reader (1) 24 to 26, characterized in that in the head area (42) a decoding device (44) and / or an optical signal transmitter (45) is arranged according to one of the claims.
28. reader (1) 24 to 27, characterized in that an acoustic signal generator (52) is arranged in Kopfbe- rich (42) or in the grip area (43) according to one of the claims.
29. The transparent tube (7; 31) with a lighting device (14; 33), wherein the illuminating means (14; 33) has a main illumination axis (14 '; 35), characterized in that the main illumination axis (14'; 35) forms an angle (17 ';; 36) to the longitudinal axis (37) of the tube (31 7).
30. The transparent tube (7; 31) according to claim 29, characterized in that the angle (14 '; 36) has a value between 45 ° and 90 °, preferably a value of more than 85 °.
31 transparent tube (7; 31) according to any one of claims 29 or 30, characterized by means (38) for fixing the transparent tube (7; 31) to a reader (1) for reading a code, in particular for reading a bar code , a two-dimensional code, a three-dimensional code or a color code.
32. A method for reading a code, in particular for reading a bar code, a two-dimensional code, a three dimensional code, or a color code, by means of a reading device (1) having an image pickup unit (9), characterized in that the code at an angle (17 ' ; 36) (to the imaging axis 17) is illuminated the image sensing unit (9).
33. The method of claim 32, characterized in that the code at an angle (17 '; 36) between 45 ° and 90 °, preferably, is illuminated at an angle of more than 85 °.
34. A method according to any one of claims 32 or 33, characterized in that the illumination device (14; 33) is algorithmically on and off.
35. The method according to any one of claims 32 to 34, characterized in that at least two illumination units (10, 11) of the reader (1) algorithmically light, preferably monochromatic light emit.
PCT/DE2002/000957 2001-03-19 2002-03-15 Reader with an image recording unit for reading a code and method for reading a code WO2002075637A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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DE10113426.6 2001-03-19
DE2001113426 DE10113426A1 (en) 2001-03-19 2001-03-19 Code reader incorporates illumination device for sidewards illumination of scanned code

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
DE2002191122 DE10291122B4 (en) 2001-03-19 2002-03-15 A reading device with an image acquisition unit for reading a code and a method for reading a code

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DE10291122D2 (en) 2004-04-15
DE10113426A1 (en) 2002-09-26

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