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NEC image recognition technology helps automatically inspect commercial products
25 July, 2015

In recent years, logistics sites are handling an increasing number of compact deliverables that span across an increasing range of cargo categories. These trends are the result of expanding e-commerce markets and the globalization of companies. While overall logistical processes are being automated, in many cases the inspection of items is being carried out manually, with two or three inspections performed to prevent similar items from being mistakenly identified. In light of these conditions, efforts are being made to improve inspection operations while maintaining the same level of quality.

Thanks to the company\'s original high speed and incredibly accurate image recognition technology, NEC\'s new solution is able to instantly identify items and quantities by comparing on-site item images with a database of pre-registered item images.

"This sophisticated solution enables users to inspect a wide range of commercial products–such as food, beverages, and pharmaceutical products–at the same time, as well as goods such as pamphlets and manuals," said Hiroshi Hashimoto, General Manager, Transportation and Logistics Solutions Division, NEC Corporation. "Moreover, objects can be recognized even if they appear to be partially concealed, sticking out, reflecting light, slanted, or bent in an image."

NEC\'s solution also allows the user to confirm the number of articles in a delivery by comparing the combined weight of items, which is measured by a weight scale on a work bench, with the pre-registered weight information. This process allows the user to conduct automatic inspections for accuracy without the need for conventional methods, such as bar codes or visual checks performed by workers. As a result, the efficiency of logistics site inspections is improved, while quality is maintained. This solution can also be used for the verification of shipments by storing images.

When performing inspections that are not suitable for image recognition, such as the inspection of items with few surface features, or the inspection of multiple items that are nearly identical, the solution displays images of the articles as well as their checkpoints on screen. This allows for more accurate and efficient visual inspections of objects.

Moving forward, NEC will continue with the development and provision of high-level logistics solutions, built upon the Internet of Things and other forms of advanced information and communication technologies, as part of its ongoing efforts to provide solutions for society.