Supply Chain Management / Preventive Maintenance / Industrial Robotics

Blog: Vision technologies boost warehouse efficiency, transparency

By Winn Hardin, for AIA

Jun 01, 2017

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Amazon has gotten warehouse efficiency down to a science, and vision and imaging technologies share in the credit. The SICK Inspector P30 2D camera, used for positioning in merchandise retrieval, delivers 15% extra picking cycles per hour. Meanwhile, human pickers are equipped with handheld image-based barcode readers, and merchandise gets scanned at a series of points throughout the fulfillment process.

It’s not just retail giants, however. Warehouses of all types and sizes are realizing they don’t have to be an e-commerce gorilla to benefit from vision and imaging offerings ranging from 3D empty tray detection to smartphone-based scanners. Not only is the vision industry providing the hardware, but they’re helping their warehouse customers leverage the data generated by cameras, sensors and imagers across the entire enterprise in order to maximize efficiency and productivity.

Of particular focus for manufacturers is automatically tracking work-in-process inventory, or the raw materials that are transforming to finished goods. “A lot of this is being done with serialization and lot-type tracking, and older systems just don’t do a good job of that,” says Dan Hare, vice president of Matrix SSI. “We’ve seen a big uptick in our solution used as an overlay for [ERP systems such as] SAP and Oracle, and that’s even in brand-new installations.”

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