Selective supplement control for catalog inserts is made possible with the DataMan ID reader
Customers are finding inserts to be much more relevant in recent years because catalog publishers have detailed customer data and catalog distribution companies are using this information to send targeted supplements. Sigloch Distribution GmbH & Co. KG, located in Blaufelden, Germany, uses a sophisticated automation system that links the customer database with the logistics automation system ensuring customers receive inserts that are relevant to their interests. Data Matrix codes are used as the link between the database and the automation system. They provide the individual identifying feature in the selection process based on the customer data. A Cognex DataMan® ID reader decodes them in a fraction of a second and forwards the customer-specific information to the supplement control system.
From information comes action
Sigloch delivers approximately 30 million catalogs per year or 100,000-200,000 catalogs per day and up to 13 supplements, which are inserted specifically for each customer. The figures show that in the world of 21st century logistics, it once again comes down to two things: speed and precision. Production rates of 5,000-6,000 catalogs per hour can only be achieved with highly reliable machines and well-honed processes. Action and information interact in just a few milliseconds Johannes Braun, Technical Director of Sigloch says, "The bundling of information in 1-D or 2-D codes and the reliable reading with image-based ID readers like the DataMan fixed-mount readers make our logistics processes fast and flexible."
Reading with absolute precision
The address cover sheet, to which the small 10 x 10mm 2-D Data Matrix codes are applied with inkjet printers, can be of varying thickness and quality. Blotting paper is a particularly absorbent paper that reacts differently under certain circumstances with colored ink and, in extreme cases, reflective substrates. Not every ID reader can then detect the codes reliably or quickly with the variances that are seen in the codes from the printing process.
The previous ID reader that was used was capable of meet the increased demands for speed and precision. After extensive research, Sigloch Distribution chose DataMan because the image-based ID reader stood out with its combination of innovative technology and more robust construction. The DataMan reader has built-in illumination, a camera, a processor and an Ethernet port for real-time tracking, data download, data transfer and easy system integration.
Flexibility thanks to a liquid lens
A particularly fast, software-controlled autofocus without manual intervention or moving parts is possible thanks to the innovative liquid lens technology. In comparison to previous ID readers, it allows significantly improved flexibility in depth of field and facilitates installation, setup and maintenance