Reading packaging labels and reducing product waste: Neurala and IHI Logistics & Machinery

On April 27th, we announced a key partnership with IHI Logistics & Machinery. Our vision AI software will be deployed to increase the effectiveness of optical character recognition (OCR) reading. As the name says, optical character recognition is used to recognize characters in printed or handwritten documents and convert them into machine-readable text. It has many applications in the real world, we will be identifying product expiration dates, to relieve workers from unnecessary or repetitive tasks, and ultimately reduce waste . OCR has come along way - you may remember filling in the dots for standardized testing. That grading process often involved an early type of OCR system. OCR systems used to be relatively expensive and even difficult to build a couple of decades ago. But advances in deep learning, like our VIA software, provide a low-cost point of entry to build an OCR system without requiring previous AI expertise.

Our work with IHI Logistics & Machinery will focus on the management of food packaging information and logistics process improvement. Traditionally, food and perishable items come into the warehouse with a production and an expiration date, with these important dates scanned by human workers with handheld OCR terminals upon arrival. It is a tedious job, and when an OCR terminal misreads an expiration date, it results in the need for inspection by humans. This also increases manufacturers’ costs and reduces profits.

“Introducing AI and automation into our workflow will be a game changer for our business,” said Takayuki Sado, general manager at IHI Logistics & Machinery. “By partnering with Neurala, we are able to bolster our value to our customers, by dramatically increasing the speed and efficiency of material handling. This level of automation is also extremely valuable, as it helps us do more with less – which is especially critical in a time when there are restrictions limiting the number of workers present on the warehouse floor.”

Interested in adopting VIA to improve your inspection process or solve your inspection problems? Get in contact with our team to learn more.