Case Study: Procter & Gamble

Digimarc Helps Ensure Dish Soap is Done Right

Procter & Gamble verifying correct labels with Digimarc Barcode

SUMMARY:

  • P&G pursues cutting edge technologies to ensure highest reliability in performing automated quality checks during production
  • In this context, P&G assigned and coded unique identifiers on dish soap labels using the Digimarc Barcode as an alternative to traditional 2D Data Matrix codes
  • The reading and use of these codes was successfully tested on the plant production line in a partnership with P&G, Digimarc and Cognex

PROJECT OBJECTIVE:

Ensuring products are produced properly is crucial to delivering P&G’s commitment to quality. Automating these quality checks reduces re-work and tedious manual processes while increasing overall quality.

Today, P&G issues specific artwork version information that is carried in two-dimensional Data Matrix codes to enable high-speed inspection systems to automatically match the proper component parts of a product during production.

However, these visible codes bring space and aesthetic limitations to package designs.

SOLUTION:

Procter & Gamble enlisted the help of Digimarc Corporation, the Oregon-based maker of an advanced barcode that is generally unnoticeable to consumers. By using the imperceptible Digimarc Barcode, P&G was able to apply its own internal identifier for part numbers to the secondary labels where traditional Data Matrix codes bring a negative aesthetic impact given the small label size.

DawnNeckLabel

Compared with a Data Matrix code, a Digimarc Barcode offers data redundancy as the code is repeated many times over the surface of the label. This gives the inspection system more opportunities to verify the part number. This also improves scanning rates for labels on shapes, such as cylinders, that are often difficult for a single Data Matrix to be read by in-line inspection systems.

In a custom pilot program with Cognex, a leading maker of high-speed cameras and manufacturing inspection systems, Digimarc software was integrated into the Cognex DataMan® 262 fixed-mount barcode reader designed for industrial use.

P&G uses Cognex cameras to monitor manufacturing accuracy in numerous production plants around the world. By integrating Digimarc software development kits (SDK), the DataMan 262 barcode reader can detect and process Digimarc Barcodes at full line speeds.

"Quality is the very reason consumers buy our products. Innovative digital solutions fuel our ability to deliver consumer and customer delight, value, and trust with each and every P&G product around the world."- Pamela Schofield, Vice President, Quality, Procter & Gamble

The collaboration between Digimarc, P&G and Cognex resulted in production tests on Dawn and Fairy labels (P&G’s leading global dish soap brands) in three separate facilities (Czech Republic, England and the United States). The labels carrying Digimarc Barcodes were ultimately used in production.

RESULTS:

The Dawn and Fairy production tests resulted in high read rates for quality control, and low impact for the brand and design team. Similar performance improvements were observed in non-production tests on challenging cylindrical products. Opportunities were also identified to reduce the number of inspection system cameras for reduced capital expenditures and lower maintenance and service costs.

Visit www.digimarc.com/manufacturing to learn about a better barcode for brands and manufacturers.