April 27, 2021

NeuralaScan400x275Neurala, which develops AI vision software, has announced a partnership with IHI Logistics & Machinery to increase the effectiveness of optical character recognition (OCR) reading of package information by automatically identifying expiration dates. The goal is to reduce waste and relieve workers from mundane, repetitive tasks, the companies said in a statement.

IHI Logistics & Machinery is a global provider of material handling and factory automation solutions, focusing on the management of food packaging information and logistics process improvements. Traditionally, food and perishable items come into the warehouse with a production and expiration date, which these important dates are scanned by human workers with handheld OCR terminals upon arrival. The job is tedious, and when an OCR terminal misreads an expiration date, it results in the need for inspection by humans, increasing manufacturers’ costs and lowering profits.

Neurala's vision AI platform aims to improve OCR by automatically identifying a product’s expiration date, including validating where on the packaging the expiration date is located. It can also verify that text on a box is the expiration date, as opposed to other numerical data such as an SKU or production date. Neurala said this reduces the need for manual intervention when errors or misreads occur, ensuring that only accurate data is passed back to an enterprise resource planning system.

“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.”

“Neurala is on a mission to help manufacturers realize the benefits of vision AI by partnering with companies around the world who are leaders in their industry,” said Max Versace, co-founder and CEO of Neurala. “We are excited to partner with IHI Logistics & Machinery to provide them with the technology needed to further their position as an innovator and leader in material handling.”

Founded in 2006, Neurala’s research team invented Lifelong-DNN (L-DNN) technology, which lowers the data requirements for AI model development, enabling continuous learning in the cloud or at the edge. The company aims to help industrial companies improve their quality inspection processes with technology that reduces the time, cost, and skills needed to build and maintain production-quality custom vision AI solutions. More details on the company are available at its website.