Monday, May 31, 2010

Vitronic Technology Keeps Express Parcel Consignments Shipping Smoothly

Interlink Express Invest in Laser Powered Cargo Volume Sensors
Shipping News Feature

UK – If you ever wondered how a company like Interlink Express manage to calculate the cube for all those little packages and parcels, in their case 27,000 parcels per hour, to ensure shipping and delivery consignments fitted into delivery trucks, the answer is now - laser technology. Vitronic has supplied five VIPAC D2 volume-measuring units to Interlink Express. Used in the company’s Smethwick distribution centre, they allow operators to optimise valuable transport space in outgoing vehicles.

At Interlink Express’ 28-acre Smethwick site, operators unload parcels using telescopic boom conveyors. Items flow to one of five sorters, which divert them down specific destination chutes ready for delivery in the morning. The new system operates above each of the sorters, which run at 2.2 metres per second. Every D2 unit has two sensor heads, which emit fan shaped laser beams. Parcels travelling underneath reflect these beams back to the sensors. Instant calculation of cubic capacity means Interlink can plan delivery routes efficiently, keeping costs and CO² emissions to a minimum.

Mark Wilkes, Director of Technical Services at Interlink Express, is delighted; “VIPAC D2 measures the volume of cuboid and non cuboid objects. This is essential because we deliver a wide range of goods. The system is fast, accurate and reliable. It cuts manual handling requirements and helps our hub perform efficiently. This means we can maintain the speedy delivery and first class customer service for which Interlink Express is renowned.”

The Sandwell trading standards office has certified each VIPAC D2 unit at Smethwick to provide accurate volume data. This means that if Interlink chooses, it can invoice people and verify customer-provided package information automatically, which has the potential for huge cost savings.

As one of the UK’s leading parcel carriers, Interlink Express offers a range of domestic and international services, and primarily serves the small and medium enterprise sector. With over 140 depots in the UK and a £15m super hub in Smethwick it operates a fleet of over 1,200 vehicles and is a wholly owned subsidiary of La Poste, the second largest postal group in Europe.