Inventory on the move

Issue 7 2020 Logistics (Industry)

Europe’s ID Logistics has taken another step in the digitisation of its warehouses, incorporating Full Pallet Inventory (FPI), a technology developed by Zetes. The system, part of the ZetesMedea logistics execution solution, uses vision technology to rapidly count palletised inventory.

A specially designed ImageID mobile reader mounted on a forklift travelling at speeds up to 10 km/h undertakes a FPI. The system continuously adapts to the speed of the forklift itself and enables the time spent counting inventory in the warehouse to be reduced by 50%.

The FPI operation requires pre-mapping the rack heights to minimise barcode scanning. The various heights and pallet locations in the warehouse are consolidated into grouped locations to simplify counting routes. The system reads the data matrix code and decodes the pallet and location tag, translating it into the language of the warehouse management system (WMS).

Mercedes Espárrago, ID Logistics’ re-engineering project manager emphasised that “the ability to carry out inventory counting on the move, minimising scans per warehouse aisle, translates into an optimisation of time and resources and an improvement in warehouse productivity. Using ImageID gives us much higher data quality and reliability.

“Until now, inventory counts were carried out manually with the help of radio frequency systems or even paper. The system designed by Zetes gives us the ability to use imaging technology integrated with the WMS. Full Pallet Inventory’s implementation has required close collaboration between ID Logistics’ various departments (IT, operations and re-engineering) and the Zetes team.”

Simón Ben Hamú, country manager of Zetes Spain, stated: “The key differentiator of Full Pallet Inventory, in addition to image capture on the move and in real-time, is the ability to translate data into the WMS language. This process automation reduces the margin of error that may occur during data transfer, which allows a much more comprehensive and rapid analysis. We strongly believe that this innovative system will allow retailers to save significant time in their inventory process operations and that it will also help gain greater visibility.”

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