Thursday, November 14, 2013

Scanning Contaminated Barcodes Assists Logistics Distribution Centre Efficiency

Automated Processes Ensure One of Asia's Largest Manufacturer's Hubs Operates Efficiently
Shipping News Feature

CHINA – ITALY – European group Datalogic, which specialises in the automation of industrial processes and the capture and use of data to aid efficiency, has announced it is supplying equipment for one of the largest logistics centres in Asia, situated in Jiangsu Province and home to a major sports and apparel manufacturer’s distribution operation. Built in 2011, the centre operates as a giant central processor with the sorting and management of all the goods dependant on digital information acquisition and handling capability, which includes a 9 kilometre conveyor belt plus order picking machines, automated warehouse management systems etc.

The key element in the entire logistics process is precision, scanning goods in the labelling area, on the high speed sorting conveyor; on the conveyor belt prior to loading and in the shipping holding warehouse which required 200 Datalogic DS4800 barcode readers to be installed every 20-30 metres on the conveyor line. With the system up and running the customer has stated it is fully satisfied with the new process which ensures that the entire management, classification and sorting of the goods are fully controlled and monitored.

The logistics hub in China stores footwear and garments in a warehouse divided into two large units: the boxes unit and the pallets unit. Due to distribution and sorting needs, the garments distribution area is divided into three floors: the top floor has 45,000 independently coded set shelves, the second floor is equipped with two automatic sorting systems and the first floor contains the packing, loading and distribution areas. A key element is that Datalogic’s DS4800 readers provide high speed performance, even with damaged, inclined or contaminated barcodes. By using this model of barcode reader to identify data, error rates have been significantly reduced, according to the customer.

After the goods pass all checks in distribution and sorting, they are moved to the packaging area, where the distribution centre system automatically prints a label for each order with the information regarding items and quantity. The computer can also estimate the volume of goods and helps the operator to choose the most appropriate package for a specific order, where the shipping label is then applied.

Before loading and shipping, the collected data enables the warehouse management system also to screen the information, according to delivery time and distribution needs. It also facilitates the evaluation of several transportation options and multiple logistics networks, thereby ensuring the goods are delivered in the most efficient, accurate and punctual manner, and at the lowest cost. Dr. Romano Volta, Chairman and CEO of Datalogic Group, commented:

"Ensuring fast and accurate logistics processes by generating data, which adds value to securing supply chains, is a major factor in maintaining economies of scale and product quality for large operations. We are proud to include prestigious brands in our customer base, who are enhancing their logistics through Datalogic’s solutions.”