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f+h Intralogistics 5/2015

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f+h Intralogistics 5/2015

IDENTIFICATION Automatic

IDENTIFICATION Automatic data capture with DWS systems offers greater intralogistics efficiency Prerequisite for an efficient flow of goods is a fast and reliable detection of parcel and container data in the run. For an optimal design of the identification processes, the machine vision specialist Vitronic offers a range of different dimensioning, weighing and scanning systems. I n recent years, the requirements that must be met in relation to both internal and external logistics have greatly increased. This is due in part to the ongoing, heightened globalization and the related increase in global trade and goods exchange. The constant growth in the eCommerce sector is al- When looking for the right technology to capture and process customer and objectrelated data from goods, camera systems (Image 01) are always the best solution, if the operator is not only interested in efficiency and system productivity, but also in reducing logistics costs. In order to meet the capture-related requirements, Vitronic offers a range of three different dimensioning, weighing and scanning systems (DWS) − perfectly tailored to the parcel size and the processes or handling method. Data is therefore reliably captured from small objects that are sorted at manual workstations (Image 02), conveyable goods in motion, and non-conveyable goods. The latter includes, for example, pallets transported by forklifts that either move through the DWS area on industrial trucks or are captured when stationary. The data is generated by the 3D systems on the structure, the weight is determined and the dimensions are registered. In addition, a 3D image of the freight unit is generated and archived to ensure the traceability of the daso creating a far broader range of requirements in the respective logistics disciplines. Seamless traceability along the entire supply chain of the goods, including letters, parcels and pallet loads is another factor creating new challenges for the logistics sector. Accompanying all of these factors is the recipient’s need for quick, complete and problem-free delivery as well as the frequently used option of returning goods (especially in internet retail). Logistics service providers and intralogistics departments within companies have to deal with this option from an organizational and technical perspective under the term ‘returns management’. Finally the market is subject to highly competitive conditions and prices. In summary the market requires process design for the efficient flow of goods in distribution centers, while also enabling courier, express and parcel companies to make optimal use of their fleets and vehicle load- ing space. These requirements can only be met if quick and accurate data capture on parcels as well as their dimensions and weights is provided. Dimensioning, weighing and scanning About Vitronic The family owned Vitronic group based in Wiesbaden/ Germany and operating in several countries is amongst the leaders in industrial image processing technology. Since it was founded in 1984 by its Managing Director Dr.-Ing. Norbert Stein, the group is growing on its own and now employs approximately 700 people worldwide. In 2014, the Group generated consolidated revenues of more than € 110 million. Vitronic researches, develops and manufactures exclusively at its headquarters in Wiesbaden. Their standards are of the highest quality and obviously Made in Germany. 38 f+h Intralogistics 5/2015

IDENTIFICATION ta capture process. The DWS systems for pallet loads and large, non-conveyable goods benefit airfreight and forwarding companies, for example, as these can make optimum use of their holding capacities. With regard to data capture for conveyable goods, the Vicam ssi2 auto-focus line-scan camera from Vitronic is a core component of the Vipac DWS systems, which enables full and reliable data capture of parcels in motion. The line-scan camera generates high-resolution, grayscale images of the parcel surface. The codes or characters read are then analyzed and the information and data are made available. A visualization feature enables the operator/user to view the various parameters, such as the read rates of the individual cameras or even the no-reads. Integrated DWS systems enable complete data capture Among the reasons why line-scan cameras hold a leading position in the field of intralogistics are their technical benefits, such as the higher read rates compared to conventional laser scanners. These kind of cameras also make it possible to transport objects and parcels along conveyor systems at greater speeds as it is not necessary to record the entire surface area for data capture purposes. Instead, only individual lines need to be captured, which can then be rapidly configured to form an image. Torben Posert, Head of Logistics Sales at Vitronic, comments: “These are just a few examples of the features that make line-scan cameras ideal for use on automated conveyor systems in modern distribution and logistics centers.” The high read speed and read rate certainly play an important role as these enable operators to use fast conveyance speeds (up to 4.5 m/s) and therefore achieve high throughput rates. This is an important feature that is particularly effective in the fully-automated Vitronic DWS systems. During the data capture process the parcels, packages and boxes are, in principle, not subjected to any restrictions in terms of the maximum possible dimensions. However, restrictions did previously exist when it came to reliably measuring small, flat packages, such as catalogues. Vitronic’s DWS system now also makes it possible to measure just such items. Posert: “Whereas conventional systems can only reliably measure packages with a height of approximately three centimeters or more, the new system can be used to conduct volume measurements of parcels from a height of just five millimeters.” The workflow in a fully-automated system equipped with Vipac solutions is as follows: the volumes of the parcels on the conveyor system are measured as they pass the DWS system. In other words, the system records the length, width and height of the parcels and uses these dimensions to calculate their volumes. In parallel, the line-scan cameras permanently installed on the frame structure of the DWS system capture 1D and 2D codes as well as characters (OCR). Maximum read rates on up to six package sides are therefore achieved in a fully automated manner and at transport speeds of up to 4.5 m/s. The packages move over scales that are integrated into the conveyor system, which record their weight. Any deformations or areas of unevenness on the packages are also detected and registered. These are recorded in an image and act as evidence in the event of complaints or insurance claims. Versatile data usage Even while parcels are moving through the DWS station, the data is for-warded to the conveyor system control unit, connected inventory control systems, the warehouse management software or higher-level ERP and SAP solutions. This enables them to then be further processed, for example in order to directly issue automated invoices. For invoices to be correctly and automatically issued, the DWS system has to be officially verified, a process which is no problem at all. Key features of the Vitronic DWS systems in this context are the on-going documentation of all data capture processes for statistical purposes and the seamless traceability of the captured packages and shipments along the entire supply chain. These are particularly important for companies that 01 Camera-based reading systems enable high throughput rates 02 The employee passes the parcels to be captured through the reading system at the manual workstation operate globally. To fully comply with the strict data security requirements in this regard and during the aforementioned invoicing process, all captured data (e. g. volume, weight) for the individual packages is stored in an alibi storage and therefore protected against unauthorized third-party access. The data is retained in the memory and can be used whenever it is required, for example in the case of weight discrepancies in an invoice. All of this data is stored in the system’s archive together with the images of each package. Photos: Vitronic www.vitronic.com f+h Intralogistics 5/2015 39

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