StreamTech was recently featured in an article in Automation World highlighting the use of advanced automation to replace manual labor to provide order fulfillment faster, more accurately and more cost-effectively than possible with human labor.
In particular the article describes a common use for StreamTech WCS in e-fulfillment by using a ‘Reverse Lookup’ technique whereby items are picked generically in bulk, which is very fast and easy – and the specific customer information (packlist, shipping label, sortation lane, collateral items) are customized on-the-fly by the system. In this case, the low cubic volume of the cartons made a fully automated dispenser practical, as well. Now, operators need only load a “loaf” of product rather than touching each piece individually.
It also illustrates the successful use of Cognex camera-based barcode scanning technology applied in logistics. Instead of a laser, the a very fast camera takes digital images of the barcode and decodes it with advanced algorithms. Cameras have a number of application advantages over traditional laser scanners, such as:
- Very high reading speeds; the camera gets many “looks” at a barcode
- Ability to read small, 2D and damaged codes
- Configuration software allows real time view of raw data
- Very high percentage read rates
The Cognex cameras referred to in the article are available in a wide number of cost points allowing a good opportunity to fit multiple applications. Several cameras can be setup in a master-slave arrangement allowing them to be operated as a single unit, simplifying the system’s controls and software.
Overall the system was a great opportunity to solve a challenging problem at a reasonable price, enabling StreamTech’s customer to pay off the capital quickly and gain a lot of benefit.