As shipping volumes grow along with online retail sales, both large retailers and low-volume fulfillment centers are considering a range of improvements to their automated sorting lines to cost-effectively boost their throughput and expand their operations.
For the past 30 years, Cognex has offered Automatic Identification (Auto ID) technology to a variety of industries. Auto ID systems and barcode technology are used to track components and products through manufacturing lines, and the same technology is used to automate sorting and shipping. Based on Cognex Auto ID experience, this paper will explore how improving barcode read rates with new image-based technology can shorten return on investment (ROI) of capital equipment. This analysis will be completed using two different types of retailers as examples.
In order to quantify the cost impact of read rates, it’s first important to understand what happens when a barcode scanner cannot ‘read’ a barcode. When a ‘no-read’ condition occurs, packages must be diverted to a station where an operator can manually key in the information or replace the defective barcode with a new barcode and resend the package back through the sorting system. This type of failed condition results in increased labor costs and reduced efficiency of automated sorting equipment.
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