Today, the inbound pallet receiving process is entirely manual. Forklift operators drive into an inbound container or truck, pick up a pallet and bring the pallet in through the dock door. The pallet is placed down, then an associate (or the driver) examines all visible faces of the pallet to identify the right barcode label and scans it using a barcode scanner. The pallet is also usually dimensioned and weighed, also manually. This process can take 3 minutes (or longer) per pallet and occupies the time of both the associate, driver and MHE (Material Handling Environment). Additionally this process takes up valuable space at the receiving dock. In most cases, the pallet needs to be inspected for damage, which is also time consuming. In the event there is damage, the process of capturing images or “proof” for insurance or dispute resolution can further take up an associate’s time.
Vimaan’s DockTrack Pallet solution completely automates, streamlines and digitizes the inbound pallet receiving process This reduces labor and MHE requirements, reduces clutter and real estate usage at the receiving gate, and provides extensive searchable data that can be used for subsequent dispute resolution or analytics. Vimaan sensors automatically scan pallet labels from all five visible sides of a pallet, inspect for damage and even measure package dimensions – all from simply driving or walking through a “gate”.
Pallet Receiving Implementation
Vimaan automates the inbound pallet receiving process using a combination of sensors, cameras and proprietary computer vision and machine learning technology. The solution comprises two components:
How Pallet Receiving Automation Works
During the automated receiving process, the system automatically detects when a driver is about to pick up a pallet. The front face of the pallet is scanned automatically, and then as the driver starts to drive through the “gate”, the sensors automatically detect the presence of the pallet and MHE and then proceeds to scan the entire pallet in 3D as well as each of the visible faces. Vimaan’s proprietary Computer Vision and Machine Learning backend software collates all the data collected from the forklift and gate sensors and cameras to extract label information, dimensions, damage, or other anomalies.
It is important to note that NO change to the normal workflow is required. If receiving is done on an MHE, the driver simply picks up the pallet and drives through the gate. If receiving is done with electronic pallet jacks, the associate simply picks up the pallet and walks through the gate.
Pallet Receiving Capabilities and Metrics
Multi Case Label Reading and Association
This enables significant cost savings through lower labor requirements, while making the process of pallet receiving faster with higher quality results. Using Vimaan’s solutions, process times can improve from ONE pallet every THREE minutes (or longer) to THREE pallets (or more) every minute! This includes the automation of 5-sided pallet scanning, 1D/2D barcode reading, label text reading, damage detection, dimensioning, WMS (Warehouse Management System) validation, and image capture and archiving. See the applications below on more details on how Vimaan improves the process of inbound pallet receiving.
Inventory accuracy is a challenge in almost every warehouse we walk into, and the reasons behind the inaccuracies vary. Understanding the truth behind your inventory involves not just cycle counting of stored inventory, but also accurate tracking of inventory movement starting with inbound pallet receiving to outbound shipping all while reconciling it in near real time against your WMS.