Item count/number input


Really hoping other people with more wisdom than me can advise me on how I might go about this idea I have.

At my work I have to ship out Radiation testing canisters. These canisters are about maybe 2.5 inches in diameter, each can has a serial number printed on top of it. When we receive the canisters they come in a box of say 200, wrapped in plastic packs of 10. The box normally has them all in numerically. EX: Serial number of first “can” 22213450 the second would be 22213451 and so on and so forth for all the remaining cans.

Here is what I would like to do. Part of my job revolves around filling out paperwork with the serial numbers of the cans I am sending out to a job site for testing. The amount is random, could be 23,49,36,21,3,235,424 etc… I would like to create a device than can A: Scan/recognize the serial numbers B: Count out the number of cans I tell it I need C: have a way to input those numbers into the word document, or input them to a text file that I can copy paste them in later, something.

I would really appreciate any and all input on how best I to go about this. The serial number part is the part I am struggling with most.

I would be more than willing to take pictures of the radiation canisters in question if need be! If anything i’m asking doesn’t make sense please ask me for more clarification!


Surely they have bar codes?

It would seem logical to have bar codes huh? Unfortunately they do not..

I took two pictures of the canisters in question, hopefully that will help someone help me.

OCR is a tricky thing, even using a PC. Using Arduino to do it is not practical.
Could you punch in the first serial number and the required number of units? Would that be ok? Arduino is really good at i++ thing, it can also output all the serial numbers in the serial window easily.


Your right after I did more research on OCR, it seems I was a bit naive to think it could be done with an Arduino.

Yes punching in the first number and required units could definitely work!
As it will be at work and I might be unable to install the Arduino IDE to use the serial monitor, would an Ethernet shield be overkill for getting the numbers from my Arduino? I have one of those cheap number pads for data input, an UNO, a mega, and a few nanos. would one of these be better suited for the job than the others?


Assuming you have a Windows machine at work you don't really need an Arduino at all. A simple C# program will work just fine. You don't need to install anything on the computer at work, just run the .exe file you compile at home.

The box normally has them all in numerically

How are you going to detect if the numbers are not sequential?
Even if they are sequential how will you know what the number of the "first" canister in a box is?
Those photographs show a weight, don't you have to include that in the paperwork?
What exactly do you mean by "Count out the number of cans I tell it I need"?

You might be better to tackle the root of the problem and get your supplier to provide canisters with barcodes and delivery notes in electronic format.

looking on the accustar site it has barcodes, so just order other type
or print barcodes for each box apart and then scan them on a weightscale and pack them, when they return do the same and process them.
just use a simple pc for this