Machine Vision Systems
End-to-End Automation Solution For Logistics & Supply Chain Management
Barcode and label technologies have come a long way in the past few years, but the transformation is just beginning. The next exciting development? Machine vision, which brings greater efficiency and reliability to the barcode reading process by way of automation. Designed to reflect human sight and perception, this exciting deep learning technology promises to remove limitations of more traditional equipment and technologies.
A variety of benefits related to logistics and the supply chain can be expected as soon as machine vision is implemented on a wide scale. These include the following:
- Increased speed. Automated solutions such as machine vision can deliver huge improvements in speed for several functions in warehousing and transportation. Loading and unloading, in particular, are far faster when vision inspection systems immediately capture and verify barcodes. This approach removes many of the human constraints associated with traditional barcode reading. Over time, seemingly modest increases in speed add up to faster shipping turnaround and impressive purchase order lead times.
- Fewer errors. Automated barcoding systems powered by machine vision help to eliminate human error, improving accuracy throughout the supply chain. With fixed imaging, it’s possible to scan for potential barcode errors and reject codes that do not achieve a sufficient level of quality. Without such verification, businesses risk penalties from major players in the supply chain and logistics industries — including, in many cases, significant fines. In general, machine vision solutions provide the oversight and evidence needed to limit disputes with customers and clients.
- Cost savings. As mentioned previously, the streamlined processes made possible by using this approach can dramatically improve productivity while also reducing errors and associated fines. The resulting savings can be considerable. Personnel savings may also be possible under a machine vision system.
How Machine Vision Technology Can Help Your Business
Machine vision technology may seem complicated at first glance, but it all boils down to a simple and important ability: using devices to perceive images, much as the human eye ordinarily would. It resembles computer vision in many respects but with an increased focus on the most urgent and important aspects of the application in question.
Under this approach, vision sensors detect that objects (such as packages or pallets identified by barcodes) are present. From there, light sources and machine vision cameras can be triggered to produce a high-quality digital image. Next, digitizing devices known as frame-grabbers create files that are saved on computers and analyzed by advanced software. Finally, the system is responsible for gauging whether captured data abides by predetermined parameters.
Many businesses now use this technology with barcode scanning to achieve greater efficiency in warehouse facilities and throughout the entire supply chain. In this context, machine vision may involve a system of cameras positioned to capture images of every pallet or crate. This smart camera solution is especially useful immediately prior to loading, as it limits the potential for incorrect carriers being sent or shipments not being completed.
Optical character recognition is incorporated to extract data from images of barcodes or serial numbers. Metrology — the science of measurement — delivers unparalleled precision to make machine vision applications extremely reliable.
Top machine vision applications for labeling and barcode scanning include the following:
- Control of inbound and outbound logistics. From receiving goods to outgoing shipments, machine vision provides critical oversight and traceability through every step of the supply chain, all while keeping errors to a minimum.
- Pallet scanning. Ideal for palletizing, it can be used to verify package and pallet contents, location, and more. Without machine vision, pallet-related delays and downtime can be a significant cause for concern.
- Printing and applying labels. In addition to verifying already affixed barcodes as goods are received or shipments are sent out, machine vision systems can determine whether labels are accurate from the very beginning. Automated solutions can inspect labels to ascertain whether they are sufficiently readable. This ensures that problems such as degradation or blurred print are addressed promptly.
- Automated pick and pack sorting. It provides further improvements to the already efficient nature of automated pick and pack. Machine vision maximizes throughput to deliver greater efficiency and fewer mistakes.
- Inventory categorization. This technology is critical for modern inventory management, as it allows for faster and more accurate classification. This approach can optimize common techniques such as ABC analysis.
- Package tracking. Machine vision is already common in mailrooms, where package tracking applications lend greater insight into incoming mail, all while facilitating contactless delivery. Similarly, this approach can pay dividends in the warehouse and distribution center environment by providing real-time insight into how items move through the supply chain.
Machine vision is a versatile solution that can be used for a wide array of purposes in the logistics and supply chain sectors. Its value as a solution for barcoding and labeling is significant, particularly for data matrix solutions and other approaches involving high data density. This streamlined approach could be key to minimizing inefficiencies and errors that once proved costly.
Peak Technologies’ End-to-End Machine Vision Integration Solution
Ready to make the most of machine vision solutions and other advanced barcoding opportunities? At Peak Technologies, we’re eager to help you implement the most cutting-edge tools and technologies in a way that maximizes profits for your business. Contact us today to learn how you can harness the power of our end-to-end machine vision integration solution.