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Automating logistics processes with barcodes

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Matt Engle, 11-30-2011

There are many reasons to automate logistics. A more efficient supply chain means less cost wrapped up in raw materials. Traceability of outgoing products gives product genealogy for recalls and for tracking defects. It improves productivity and gives companies the ability to get their products much faster to market. Automation can also minimize waste and maximize profits.
So what can barcodes and barcode scanning do for this industry? It’s been reported that eight percent of the cost of an item can be contributed to logistics. Automation can lower this cost. Using barcodes or Automatic Identification (Auto-ID) technologies ensures the accuracy and speed of locating items by eliminating manual entry of identification data.

Many logistics operations can benefit from automation: sortation, conveyors, pick stations, transportation and robotics to name a few. Typical barcode scanning applications within these areas could include presentation scanning, side or top reading of totes or trays or packages on a conveyor, or print and apply applications that verify what has just been printed and labeled onto a box or tote. Tunnels can also be used to scan six sides of the package as it travels through.
I’ll continue to explore these applications in future posts.

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