The advances in automated production processes have resulted in the need for detecting, reading and decoding 2D
datamatrix barcodes at very high speeds. This requires the correct combination of high speed optical devices that are
capable of capturing high quality images and computer vision algorithms that can read and decode the barcodes
accurately. Such barcode readers should also be capable of resolving fundamental imaging challenges arising from
blurred barcode edges, reflections from possible polyethylene wrapping, poor and/or non-uniform illumination,
fluctuations of focus, rotation and scale changes. Addressing the above challenges in this paper we propose the design
and implementation of a high speed multi-barcode reader and provide test results from an industrial trial. To authors
knowledge such a comprehensive system has not been proposed and fully investigated in existing literature. To reduce the
reflections on the images caused due to polyethylene wrapping used in typical packaging, polarising filters have been
used. The images captured using the optical system above will still include imperfections and variations due to scale,
rotation, illumination etc. We use a number of novel image enhancement algorithms optimised for use with 2D datamatrix
barcodes for image de-blurring, contrast point and self-shadow removal using an affine transform based approach and
non-uniform illumination correction. The enhanced images are subsequently used for barcode detection and recognition.
We provide experimental results from a factory trial of using the multi-barcode reader and evaluate the performance of
each optical unit and computer vision algorithm used. The results indicate an overall accuracy of 99.6 % in barcode
recognition at typical speeds of industrial conveyor systems.