The debate to use certain products past their expiration date is a constant topic of discussion which tends to be focused on non-food products. Beyond consumer products, all food products must have a printed expiration or “best by” date to indicate freshness. To ensure that the correct dates are stamped and identified, machine vision technology is utilized.

Aside from certain food products which can last extended periods of time if stored in the right conditions, all food has an expiration date that should be adhered to. We’ve all opened a can of vegetables or a package of meat and instantly smelled something that didn’t seem right; maybe it looked funny, or smelled spoiled. Or have you ever tried a cracker with your soup or poured a bowl of cereal and realized just how stale it is?Expiration Date

If you only eat out of your homegrown garden you may not have experienced this, but for the rest of us, we’ve crossed this circumstance more than once in our life. The good news is many companies utilizing machine vision technology are able to eliminate issues concerning expired food. For instance, a top manufacturer of cereal has developed a process where incorrectly printed date codes are identified and rejected from being shipped to retailers. These new vision systems coupled with optical character recognition (OCR) software allows the cereal manufactures to quickly identify products which have been inaccurately dated and eliminate them from their shipment without manual labor and down time. Essentially, this helps create less overhead costs, less human error while streamlining a system to stamp and distribute accurately dated food products.

Other Industry Uses

The food industry by no means is the only industry to utilize this technology to eliminate costs and overhead. Machine vision technology has a wide range of applications including:

  • Automotive – These vision systems help inspect everything from antenna traces on automotive glass which allows your radio to work to robot systems that help trim parts for car interiors.
  • Oil – Refineries are utilizing drones with vision system cameras to inspect and analysis pipes as well as wildlife detection in and around the facilities.
  • Trash Sorting – Within the past year, machine vision systems have begun assisting human workers in their ability to spot and extract specific objects which is helping to streamline the $6.6 billion U.S. industry.

Universe Kogaku develops standard and custom lens assemblies for image capture for a wide range of industries and job types including barcode scanning, night-vision systems, medical systems, hi-speed imaging and machine vision and robotic vision systems. These applications are built with premium, all-glass lenses including many specialty lenses like right angle, pinhole and motor zoom features.

For additional information or a customized quote for your application please email UKA at or call 516.624.2444.