Ship Sorter Induction

Improve traceability, increase throughput, and reduce loss through your ship sorter

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hand holding a Cognex Dataman 470

DataMan 470 Series

Fixed-mount barcode readers solve complex, high-throughput manufacturing and logistics applications with ease.

After an order is packed and prepared for shipment, it enters the induction process which introduces parcels and envelopes to the sorting system to be routed to the correct shipping lane/zone. Distribution, fulfillment, and parcel processing facilities often struggle with lost or mis-directed parcels as part of this process which causes several issues, including cost and time in locating the missing parcel as well as diminished customer delivery expectations. Some parcels are lost entirely which also increases cost. Part of the problem is that there is often minimal or no traceability as part of this process. Packages may fall off the belt or a code may not be read properly.

Companies are implementing strategic initiatives to reduce loss through the system. They are looking to either introduce traceability or enhance it throughout their facility, so it is much easier to locate a missing package from where it was last scanned. In addition, operational metrics dictate efficiency and feeding the sorting systems as fast as possible to maintain throughput. Handheld scanners are often used to perform this task but are inefficient due to an operator having to pick up a parcel with one hand and scan with the other. In the case of heavier items, this inefficiency increases as the scanner must be put down to lift the box onto the induction platform. Many handheld scanners must have the code aligned a certain way to be read, which means more handling and decreased efficiency.

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Careful optimization of technology and labor is essential in today’s distribution, ecommerce, and parcel processing facilities. There are a few ways Cognex solves induction scanning challenges. Solutions are based on factors such as throughput requirements and determining the right mix of operators (manual touch points.

Cognex ship sorter induction scanning solutions, featuring DataMan 370 and 470 barcode readers, offer a hands-free solution to reading codes quickly, efficiently, and accurately. Using advanced algorithms and decoding technology, Cognex barcode readers offer up to 99.9% read rates even for damaged, smudged, and torn codes, or even codes covered in shiny material. Cognex barcode readers improve traceability which helps facility managers know where parcels are at any given time, which reduces loss. Cognex barcode readers capture and send output data and images that facility managers can use for quality metrics and to identify problems more quickly from upstream processes, which saves time and money as well as minimizing rework .

Ship Sorter Induction - Tunnels

Presentation Scanning

Using Cognex DataMan image-based, fixed-mount barcode readers deployed overhead provides a hands-free, fast, accurate presentation scanning solution for the induction process. A hands-free solution means the operator can easily swing the package or envelope through the reader’s field of view and place it on the induction belt. Alternatively, an operator can place the package on the induction platform and once the code is read, the belt starts and takes the package into the ship sorter. Code labels can be quickly read at any angle, so aligning the code to the barcode readers is unnecessary.

Ship Sorter Induction - Presentation reading

Robotic Induction

Capitalizing on an emerging trend, forward-looking distribution, fulfillment, and parcel processing facilities are turning to robots to perform certain tasks in areas where throughput requirements are increasing, and human operators cannot maintain efficiency. One of these areas is ship sorter induction. This approach delivers cost savings via improved accuracy and throughput, while reducing worker injuries from repetitive motion. Robots pick items out of gaylords and induct them onto a conveyor, where the package passes through a multi-sided scanning tunnel, featuring Cognex image-based barcode readers, which capture barcode information prior to it going onto the induction platform.

Ship Sorter Induction - Robotic Induction
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