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24 May, 2022

Forklift vision system prevents storage and retrieval errors

04 March, 2020

The German forklift manufacturer Jungheinrich has a developed a networked machine vision system designed to be integrated into its vehicles' forks to read and compare barcodes on packaging and storage systems, thus avoiding storage and retrieval errors. The company says that the system will prevent items being stored in the wrong compartment, or the wrong pallets being retrieved from a rack.

“When barcode lists are scanned manually at shelf compartments or on order papers – which has been common practice up to now – errors occur time and again because the place of storage is not directly checked,” explains Dr Felix Riesenhuber, Jungheinrich’s head of product management assistance systems and modules. “The digital scan using the new fork-arm camera now effectively helps to prevent storage and retrieval errors and the associated search times and missed trips.”

The cameras are designed to be networked with a company’s goods management system, allowing barcodes to be compared with data in the system.

If the read-out of the shelf compartment is the same as the target compartment, or the read-out from packaging is the same as the goods to be picked up, the forklift driver confirms this by touching a display. This is claimed to increase the speed and reliability of storage and retrieval operations.

The digital fork camera guarantees high image quality by adjusting its exposure parameters dynamically. By digitally sharpening contrasts, the high-resolution camera makes can detect QR codes reliably, even on high shelves.

Forklift drivers can confirm the result produced by the code-reading camera by touching a display on board the vehicle

The code-checking camera is one of a series of systems developed by Jungheinrich based on digital cameras. Another one, called addedView 360°, provides panoramic views around counterbalance forklifts, including a bird's-eye view, which it generates by combining and converting images from several cameras on the vehicle. This allows drivers to navigate safely and quickly, even in tight, confusing situations.

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