Cognex Corporation (, the world's leader in machine vision, announces its PowerGrid™ technology, a texture-based location algorithm that takes a unique, inside-out approach to reading 2-D matrix and Direct Part Mark (DPM) codes. While conventional feature-based algorithms start by locating the finder pattern, Cognex’s PowerGrid technology looks for a pattern of alternating light and dark modules within the code.

PowerGrid technology dramatically increases read rates in 2-D barcode-reading applications where a part’s geometry, poor lighting, occlusion, or print-registration errors make it difficult to capture an image of the entire code. Unlike previous solutions, PowerGrid technology can locate and read codes even when they exhibit significant damage to or complete elimination of the finder pattern, clocking pattern, or quiet zone.

“Even though 2DMax® software set the standard for performance in industrial ID for the most challenging 2-D barcodes, Cognex is constantly seeking opportunities to improve our decoding algorithms,” says Carl Gerst, senior vice president, ID Products. “After analyzing images of codes that we couldn’t read, we determined that a high percentage showed significant finder pattern, clocking pattern, or quiet zone damage. Leveraging our 30+ years of vision experience, our engineers came up with a completely new and innovative technique that can find and read these codes without relying on the finder pattern. The result is nothing short of incredible.”

 Cognex’s PowerGrid technology is now available on the X models of the DataMan® 300 series fixed-mount barcode readers.