Applying labels to pallets in conventional logistics centers is a mundane, time-consuming manual task, not entirely without risk. Forklift operators must exit their cabs to label and scan every single pallet. The answer, of course, is automation. Wood-panel manufacturer Norbord opted for Zetes equipment with SICK sensors in order to accelerate the labeling process, boost safety and reduce errors at their facility in Genk, Belgium, where they can now apply around 1,400 labels to pallets every day.
Boosting Logistics Labeling Efficiency with High-Tech from Zetes
Zetes, an autoID company that specializes in logistic applications, chose to execute the Norbord project with partner of more than 15 years, SICK. Drawing on over a decade of experience with SICK CLV62x scanner and SICK technical support, Zetes selected these sensors for Norbord’s new industrial labeling machine. The laser-based bar code scanners of the CLV62x product family ensure high quality, readability and traceability for the labels. The bar code is automatically scanned with the stock location and batch number so that the pallet is then shown correctly in Norbord’s warehouse management software in real time.
Integrated scanning and ID tech reduces downtimes
A further benefit from SICK is its module for connecting an ID scanner – the CDB (Connection Device Basic). This makes it incredibly easy to install the automation technology and replace scanners. The CDB reduces downtime to an absolute minimum thanks to “parameter cloning” – the settings of the bar code scanner are saved in the module so that an exchange device can simply be plugged in without having to be parameterized manually. With SICK sensors on the labeling machine swiftly and accurately scanning the barcodes on the pallet, forklift drivers can remain safely in their cabs while the machine does the work. They no longer risk tripping or falling and human errors such as an operator forgetting to scan a pallet are eliminated.
Collaboration on labeling and sensors boosts safety and efficiency
Automating its labeling process with Zetes identification software and SICK sensors has not only improved safety and efficiency, minimized errors, and accelerated delivery, it has also enabled Norbord to expand capacity by adding a new processing line with the same staff level.
The SICK CLVs that Zetes have been installing in their equipment for over ten years are only one of the solutions SICK has on offer. There are also camera-based and RFID identification solutions to choose from. The SICK CLV62x application used in the Norbord logistics center is only the first step where labels are automatically applied to palettes and scanned, before the pallets are stored. SICK also supports the second step, the identification of pallets with a forklift-truck, and the third step, identification of full inbound and outbound pallets.