Vision and logistic
In the age of Internet retailers, lean production and streamlined value chains, quick and timely delivery of goods are of increasing importance. Fast and reliable logistics are a necessity of an efficient company, wherever they fall in the value creation process.
Automated systems are important for quicker and more secure shipping and delivery of goods, as well as in materials management processes. Image processing plays an important role here as well.
Within the logistics field, we differentiate between the following major fields involving image processing:
- Postal sorting
- In-house logistics/driverless transport vehicles
Digital cameras are essential for quick and reliable sorting of packages and letters. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems and cameras are frequently used to identify addresses. Packages are a trickier task for cameras in a vision system, as they can come in different sizes and the addresses and barcodes are often placed in different spots on the parcel. The imaging system must be ready to depict all portions of the package in clear focus to ensure that addresses or barcodes are handled properly. Cameras are also used to detect the volume of packages.
In-House Logistics/Driverless Transport Vehicles
Driverless transport vehicles are becoming an increasingly common feature of major distribution centers. They can be used around the clock to transport a wide variety of goods. One common component for all these vehicles: a digital camera. The camera is an important tool for navigating the vehicle as it performs its task, such as bringing goods from the warehouse to the shipping department.
Another frequent logistics application for digital cameras involves container ports, which have become more and more automated in recent years to handle the growing flow of goods. Containers must be clearly identified. Digital cameras are an indispensable tool in that task, helping to ensure smooth processing.
During palleting/depalleting, individual items to be shipped are collated into packed units, or vice-versa. This is handled automatically where possible and economically feasible, such as in the automotive industry where robot arms handle large workpieces. Digital cameras are used to control those automated procedures.