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Automated Inspection of Marked Characters for Color and Correctness Using Imaging Colorimetry

For many electronics products sold today, markings such as text, characters, and symbols are applied to component surfaces via laser or other methods. Product makers must ensure that any markings are free of defects, meet quality and brand standards, and comply with trade regulations such as CE and RoHS. This webinar introduces a new inspection approach using imaging colorimetry to provide efficient and highly accurate automated simultaneous inspection of text and symbol color, dimensions and positioning, formation, and other attributes.

Date: April 13, 2023
Time: 1 PM EDT (10 AM PDT / 7:00 PM CEST)
Duration: 1 hour
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For many electronics products sold today, necessary markings such as symbols, text, and numbers are applied to components during the manufacturing and assembly process. Components can be made of metal, plastic, glass, ceramic or other materials and markings are applied using laser etching, printing, or similar methods. Product makers must perform product text validation, ensure that any markings are free of defects, meet quality and brand standards, comply with trade regulations such as CE and RoHS, and support part traceability (e.g., confirming serial numbers).

Typical machine-vision inspection systems can assess text completeness and accuracy but cannot measure accurate color or contrast. Spectrometers provide highly accurate color measurement, but only for one spot at a time and cannot recognize or assess characters or symbols. These limitations mean manufacturers may have to use two or more different inspection systems, increasing cost and production time.

A new inspection approach uses high-resolution imaging colorimeters combined with image analysis tools to perform fast, automated measurement of text and symbol shape (inclusions and exclusions), dimensions, color, and contrast. Beyond quality control, this methodology supports process control and line-to-line and location-to-location agreement.

Key Takeaways

  • Review current trends, requirements, and methods of product marking
  • Examine challenges of detecting defects and ensuring the quality and legibility of markings on surfaces such as metal, plastic, glass, and ceramic
  • Understand the full range of criteria that manufacturers need to assess, including: text/symbol shape (inclusions and exclusions), dimensions, placement/orientation, color, and contrast
  • Explore various methods used for quality inspection of markings on product surfaces, such as machine vision cameras and spectrometers, and their advantages and drawbacks
  • Discover how the science of imaging colorimetry can be applied to perform defect detection and color inspection of markings with greater precision, accuracy, and efficiency


Hubert Kostal, Ph.D., Vice President of Business Development, Radiant Vision Systems

Kostal leads Radiant's Advanced Vision solutions team. Since joining Radiant in 2007, he has been a key driver in the transition of imaging colorimetry technologies from the lab to the production floor, helping top global brands optimize their production process and improve product quality.

Kostal brings extensive international experience in high technology engineering, marketing, and sales to Radiant. He has held leadership roles in both start-up and established technology companies, including APIC (Advanced Photonic Integrated Circuits), NanoOpto Corp., SpectraSwitch Corp, TranSwitch Corp., and Lucent Technologies.

He received a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Texas at El Paso, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin. A leading expert on the topic of automated visual inspection, his papers on the subject can be found in international technical and trade publications. He has been awarded two patents.