Murgon Leather Pty. Ltd. is one of several Australian tanneries that are not able to tell if the shipments of reject leather hides are from their tannery or another or even from another country. The problem lies in the lack of a trace-back system with labels able to withstand the harsh tanning process (Isaac, 2002, priv. comm., 25 September). The Australian Government also see the value of trace-back in the tanning industry as a means to identify and reward farmers who consistently produce high quality leather hides. However, no effective machine-read labelling system has been developed (Tilbury, 1999). \ud \ud \ud \ud Labels in animal hides are currently made by the Gibson Bas Stamper which punches slits through the animal hide to produce numeric figures. These labels can withstand the tanning process but are only human-readable (Gibson, 2004, priv. comm. 10 February). Murgon Leather have identified problems with human error in regards to data entry and require a machine-read system (Isaac, 2002, priv. comm., 25 September).\ud \ud This study combines scientific research with Industrial Design to explore vision-based technology such as Optical Character Recognition, digital image processing and Barcode technology. From these technologies working principles are sought to reproduce into a new technology that can be applied to the tanning industry.\ud \ud \ud \ud The result is the "Leather Vision System" (LVS) which is an effective combination of digital image processing, barcode technology and a redesigned Gibson Bas stamping system. Finally, Industrial Design practices are applied to the LVS to ensure the hardware will facilitate the technology, be easy to use, and is suitable to the tanning industry
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