INVESTMENT in integrated package measurement and barcode scanning from SICK (UK) Limited has paid back in half the anticipated time at Norsk-European's UK headquarters by significantly improving the capture of accurate weight and volume.
Installation of two SICK Dimensioning Weighing and Scanning (DWS) systems, incorporating OCS dynamic weigh scales and separation conveyors, is boosting profitability through automated revenue recovery and providing further benefits in warehouse efficiency and accuracy. The UK depot in Colnbrook, Berkshire, handles some 2,000 parcels a day.
The DWS systems have enabled real-time accurate measurement of parcels by weight or volume/weight, integrated with the Norsk's invoicing system to provide accurate billing and improved workflow.
Norsk-European's Technical Director Gary Bartoletti explains: “The DWS systems are already an indispensable part of our operation. Previously we had to rely on customer-declared weights and dimensions to calculate charges, which unfortunately were not always accurate. Since the installation of the DWS systems we are able to capture correct weights and dimensions and charge accordingly. There has also been a benefit to our customers as we now provide weight and volume information that they can use too.
“The SICK system automatically enables an accurate price to be charged, based on either the weight or the volume, whichever is greater. The option of weight or volume/weight is important as road and air transport costs depend on the space occupied, i.e. the number of packages that can be carried, as well as their weight.”
A unique identifying barcode label is applied to each package on entry to the Norsk-European handling facility. It then travels via the OCS separation conveyors to a SICK VMS 520 laser volume measurement system which measures the maximum width, height and length of the package (up to 90cm high by 150cm long and 90 cm wide). The dimension measurements are incorporated with the OCS dynamic weigher which can accurately weigh the package as it is in transit.
The measuring systems are integrated with a SICK OPS490 omni directional bar code reading system, comprising of an evaluation unit and several standard CLV490 series scanners. These scanners, with integrated real-time autofocus, generate a reading field of 90cm by 90cm so at least one scanner can always read the barcode label, no matter what the package orientation.
The data is collated and the billable weight computed by the SICK MSC 800 Modular System Controller, which is integrated directly with the Norsk-European internal tracking and accounting system. The MSC800 combines the billable weight and barcode data and communicates it to the Norsk-European host server, allowing real time generation of all the transportation and delivery paperwork so that identifying documentation is available without any delay.
Gary Bartoletti continues: “The DWS system has improved efficiency throughout our organisation. For example, it has helped workflow in our warehouse because we no longer have to perform check weighing and we can easily track and identify packages in the warehouse using that same information to confirm receipt of the shipment to our customers via on- line track and trace or e-mail.
“All the package documentation, from initial order generation to package receipt confirmation and invoicing, is uniquely identified with all the data, so it minimises any invoice disputes and saves us time and money.”
“The volume/weight data generated by the DWS are automatically added to the digital 'paperwork' in real time providing fully integrated and accurate documentation with all the data available in one format. Additionally, the SICK MSC 800 Modular System Controller offers legally accredited alibi storage of all dimensional data, so that it available in case of customer queries.”
Mark Harris Auto Ident Systems Product Manager for SICK (UK) added: “The success of the DWS installation at Norsk demonstrates how rapid revenue recovery can benefit all sizes of parcel and package carriers, from the smaller operations to those handling many thousands an hour. We worked closely with OCS to develop a system tailored to Norsk's needs.
“The SICK DWS system is fully certificated as legal-for-trade, as a basis for commercial transactions. It is much simpler and better integrated than competitive systems, so it is easier to set up and operate, with very high reliability.”
For more information about the SICK DWS parcel scanning system contact: Ann Attridge or Andrea Hornby on 01727 831121 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrea.email@example.com