An apparatus and method for accurately counting the number of articles passing along an article path. A light beam is transmitted across an article path to a sensor, which light beam is interfered with by the passage of articles along the article path and the received light beam is converted to electrical signals that are conditioned, amplified and input to a logic unit which, based on derived amplitude, duration and area of the input signals, determines the number of articles that passed along the article path. A system is also described which accurately counts the number of articles passing along a plurality of article paths by employing a plurality of such devices each of which accurately counts the articles passing along each article path and, upon instructions from a master console, sends its counts to the master console for summation. The system further includes a network architecture with simplified wire harnessing and enhanced operation.
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