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Implementation of the “Chestniy ZNAK” labeling system at a tobacco factory

Project objective

Implementation of a tobacco product labeling system fully complying with all Сenter for advanced technologies development requirements.

Task description by the customer - Imperial Tobacco

In Russia, Imperial Tobacco is represented by two companies, the one in Volgograd being the largest company in the region. A full work cycle on cigarette production is carried out there. Starting from tobacco processing and ending with finished blocks formation and packing the blocks into boxes.

M-Tekhnologii LLC task was to implement a software and hardware system for marking finished products with a two-dimensional code “Datamatrix”, which is mandatory for Chestniy znak accounting!

Solution key features
  • Obtaining codes from tobacco products labeling and circulation information system;
  • Transferring DataMatrix pack codes to the printer;
  • Applying DataMatrix code to a pack;
  • Controlling the application of DataMatrix code to a pack;
  • Rejecting packs with unreadable codes;
  • Reading DataMatrix pack codes s from the block;
  • Generating DataMatrix code and human-readable information on the block label;
  • Reading the block code printed on the DataMatrix label;
  • Associating DataMatrix block code with DataMatrix pack codes inside this block;
  • Rejecting blocks with unreadable DataMatrix pack codes;
  • Rejecting blocks in case of inconsistency of the DataMatrix pack codes of the packs with the codes obtained from information system;
  • Controlling the correspondence of the number of blocks in the box to the given value;
  • Generating a barcode and related human-readable information on the box label;
  • Reading the box barcode printed on the label;
  • Associating the box barcode with the DataMatrix block codes inside the box.
Project implementation stages
  1. Installation work including:
  • Laser applicators installation. The laser applicators burn out markings on a finished pack. The lasers were installed on a line’s section with a drying drum, making marking in a start-stop mode possible. At the marking spot, a system for removing combustion residues was installed, the system also protects users from laser radiation.
  • Installation of a machine vision system consisting of two stand-alone Cognex cameras – One camera monitors coding quality and if it detects errors, the production line is stopped. The second camera reads codes from finished packs and sends the data for further pack aggregation.
  1. Installing and configuring software. The installed Track&Trace software processes data received from marking systems (VideoJet 3340 lasers) and data from machine vision cameras. Based on the data, lists of used codes are formed and data is prepared for aggregating products into blocks and boxes. The information is sent further, up the hierarchical chain, to higher-level software.
Software and hardware complex
  • Track&Trace Software;
  • Cognex 7400 camera;
  • VideoJet 3340 laser.

On each production line (16 full cycle lines), a reliable and modern product labeling system has been implemented.

Benefits obtained:

  • marking defect rate does not exceed 0.01%;
  • goods protection from falsification and counterfeiting;
  • connection to the Chestniy znak system.


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