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Intelligent trailer loading at Zebra increases visibility, boosts performance

The SmartPack Trailer solution from Zebra Technologies (Booth S2459) creates an intelligent loading environment that increases both outbound load densities and lightens the load for dock managers, said Brent Elstron, product manager.

The SmartPack Trailer solution from Zebra Technologies (Booth S2459) creates an intelligent loading environment that increases both outbound load densities and lightens the load for dock managers, said Brent Elstron, product manager.

“It’s the first platform that adds advanced analytics and increased visibility to the trailer loading process,” he explained. The solution uses 3D sensors and camera technology in a compact overhead device mounted overhead and just inside the dock door; 5,000 units are already in use, Elstron added.

The system captures operational data such as load density, trailer fullness, images of loads in progress and number of packages scanned and loaded per hour. The information gives on-site and corporate managers greater insight into the effectiveness of their trailer loading operations.

Camera views from every location, both on-site and at different facilities, are accessible from a dashboard view displayed on a desktop computer kiosk or tablet. Images can be used to verify shipment loading and space maximization, theft prevention, document damages, and validate that employees are lifting properly. If they aren’t, the images can be used for ergonomic training purposes.

“The system hardware, software and analytics integrate with various enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to track volumetric efficiency, load rate and when a load is almost complete. Drivers can be alerted in advance when a trailer is about to be closed out, resulting in lower dwell time and freeing up the dock so a new load can begin,” he concluded.

Also on display, Network Connect for Automation seamlessly links Zebra’s ultra-rugged scanners and printers to industrial programmable logic controller (PLC), Ethernet protocols and other standard networks without additional PC gateways or third-party hardware. This reduces cost and complexity, as more printers and scanners are being connected to traditionally controlled hardware.

Finally, Zebra announced LifeGuard for Android, a security lifecycle offering that extends the service life of Android-based mobile computers with enterprise-critical support. It includes regular operating system security updates to extend device lifecycle and lower total cost of ownership.


Article Topics
Automatic Data Capture   Dock Equipment   ProMat   ProMat 2017   Zebra Technologies   All topics


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About the Author
Sara Pearson Specter
Sara Pearson Specter has written articles and supplements for Modern Materials Handling and Material Handling Product News as an Editor at Large since 2001. Specter has worked in the fields of graphic design, advertising, marketing, and public relations for nearly 20 years, with a special emphasis on helping business-to-business industrial and manufacturing companies. She owns her own marketing communications firm, Sara Specter, Marketing Mercenary LLC. Clients include companies in a diverse range of fields, including materials handing equipment, systems and packaging, professional and financial services, regional economic development and higher education. Specter graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky. with a bachelor’s degree in French and history. She lives in Oregon’s Willamette Valley where she and her husband are in the process of establishing a vineyard and winery.
 
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