Inventory Viewer is one of the most unusual Tsuru Robotics projects that are not related to drones.
FM Logistic, the largest warehouse operator in Eastern Europe, approached us with the idea of the project. The company proposed to develop a drone that would fly around the warehouse and check the location and quantity goods stored in it. Tsuru Robotics could create such a device, if not for one “but”. The use of appliances powered by electricity is prohibited in warehouses. Drones need a positioning system that needs the power to fly inside the buildings automatically. Plus, the cost of such a system would be extremely high for a large warehouse.
Tsuru Robotics has found a solution to the problem without the use of drones. The result of the development was a unique device for automatic inventory. This is how it works.
Each pallet in warehouse receives an original barcode, which encrypts information about the cargo: name, quantity, place of future storage and so on. The pallet with the barcode is installed on the rack. All information about the pallet and the goods in it is recorded in the electronic WMS -warehouse management system. However, pallets are sometimes moved to another place, part of the goods is removed from them, etc. After each operation, the pallet receives a new barcode. There appear many errors associated with the human factor. These errors get into the WMS-system, and the information in it becomes unreliable. The device developed by Tsuru Robotics is used to bring the information in WMS in line with reality.
The lower part of the Inventory Viewer is in the form of a standard pallet. A reach truck (a loader that can lift a pallet with a load and set it at the height of up to 12 m) drives up to it, picks it up and lifts it to the required height. Then the reach truck operator presses the button on the tablet at the starting position (at the beginning of the racking alley), presses the speed pedal, and the complex begins to move at a maximum speed of up to 4 km/h. The device reads the barcode on the pallet, as well as its location and enters it into the table. Thus, by comparing the data in the WMS system with the data received after the inventory scan, you can determine whether there is an error in the system. And then fix it by positioning a new barcode on the pallet or moving the pallet. So after a full scan of the warehouse WMS-system would contain accurate information. Moreover, the scan can be performed at least every day.
Of course, employees with hand scanners can serve as an inventory viewer. However, this method of inventory is incredibly long and expensive, besides fraught with new errors. Also, our inventory viewer works with an accuracy of 99.87 %! Plus it does the inventory very quickly. Here it is necessary to note the most critical point.
Many people use laser scanners for goods, like ones in supermarkets. You need to bring it very close and hold for some time to read the barcode. Our inventory viewer moves at a decent distance and does not stop in front of each bar code – it moves continuously and at a constant speed! There is no other similar system in the world to date. This is Tsuru Robotics know-how.
The first company that began to use our Inventory Viewer is “Mars”, the world’s leader in the pet food production and manufacturer of famous chocolate bars.