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Tech enhances performance and provides visual PoD

12 December 2012

Schneider Electric has speeded up loading bay operations using Zetes vision technology to automate shipment barcode capture Zetes has developed and installed a proprietary solution to control shipments from the Schneider

Schneider Electric has speeded up loading bay operations using Zetes vision technology to automate shipment barcode capture Zetes has developed and installed a proprietary solution to control shipments from the Schneider Electric logistics centre, situated in Sant Boi de Llobregat. As a result of faster and more accurate shipping verification, the company has enhanced its customer satisfaction levels.

Schneider Electric, a global energy management specialist, exports its products to more than 100 countries from the company's 58,000 sq m logistics centre. After operators have prepared the orders, each pallet is assembled according to the list of planned shipments. Prior to implementing Visidot, the correct configuration of boxes was verified by code using manual RF barcode readers.

Since implementing Visidot, the process has been fully automated thanks to vision technology, which allows the instant capture of hundreds of barcodes simultaneously.

Marc Casanovas, engineering manager of the Schneider Electric Logistics Centre says: "Satisfying our customers is the utmost priority for Schneider Electric. In Zetes, we have found a trusted partner that helps us achieve our aims." Schneider Electric and Zetes first started working together in 2010 with the rollout of the print & apply technology that uses barcodes at the semi-automatic point of release of empty boxes.

After analysing the needs of Schneider Electric, and in conjunction with its technical team, Zetes installed Visidot, an image-based identification technology (based on ImageID), as the best option to meet the requirements of the distribution centre. As a solution, Visidot is essentially a combination of hardware units, capture devices and lighting, managed with innovative software.

Real time alerts Using Visidot, Zetes has equipped the company with a robust, stable and userfriendly solution. Once the pallet is assembled after picking, it is carried along a conveyor belt to a turntable where it is detected by Visidot. The system subsequently captures all the bar codes applied on boxes constituting a pallet.

Hundreds of labels are captured simultaneously with a single reading.

The decoded data is then pooled to eliminate duplicates and validate its accuracy before the results are passed onto the Schneider ERP system.

Once all checks have been performed on the pallet, it is baled and dispatched. In the event of an incident, operators receive real time alerts about the problem along with visual problem-solving guides.

Incidents can involve incomplete pallets, a missing code in a box or the detection of boxes that do not correspond to the pallet being dispatched.

Data for each pallet is stored for reporting and statistical purposes. The images captured are kept as visual evidence of the delivery of an order and its conditions.

Vincent Lamarche, Sant Boi distribution centre manager, says: "For us it is very important to have a reliable system to minimise possible incidents and, if we do encounter them, to be able to take immediate action. We are very satisfied with the Zetes Visidot system because it meets the high standards of excellence we are seeking in all our processes. It first of all automates the control of orders to be dispatched, which means a huge time-saving for us and an increase in the reliability of our product dispatch process. It also provides us with data in real time thanks to the integration of the system with our ERP. And last but not least, we have visual proof of packages sent and of their condition." Alain Wirtz, CEO of Zetes concludes: "Visidot offers fast, accurate data capture and reading for shipping verification. In some cases, it provides an interesting and cost efficient alternative to RFID. As a result we are now seeing increasing numbers of companies showing an interest in vision-based technology around Europe."
 
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