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Evans deploys machine vision AI to improve warehouse operations

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Evans Distribution Systems, a provider of third-party logistics and supply chain solutions, has invested in a machine vision automation system with AI to optimize its warehouse packing line.

Evans is using the ADLINK Edge Smart Pallet solution to improve accuracy and efficiency with two GigE cameras, an Edge AI Gateway computer, and ADLINK Edge software. The system uses machine vision to record and classify contents in packages as they move through the line as a quality check and uses rule-based analytics to identify inconsistencies to the packing list. Essentially, the company says, it’s an automated quality assessment system.

“One of the most skilled jobs on the line is the quality assurance technician. They need to quickly observe if the orders are packed correctly or incorrectly. This machine is more than 99% accurate, allowing us to utilize those skills in other areas of the packing line,” said Steve Ruch, vice president of warehousing at Evans.

There is a lot of potential in machine vision and AI in a warehouse environment, and the goal, he noted, is to enhance the current operations with a non-disruptive technology.

The model training system, VMLINK, teaches the computer to identify objects in different positions, lighting scenes, and other variations, which is critical to performance and accuracy. The system utilizes two cameras—one that looks into the box contents and the other that reads a barcode containing the packing list. 

As the package moves through the quality check-point, two images are recorded and a classification model identifies the object From there, the image pixels are converted into data and fed through a software system that is connected to Evans’ warehouse management system (WMS). The data is matched to the packing list and if the contents are inconsistent, a label is printed on the box to signal a packing error.

For more information, go to www.evansdist.com and www.adlinktech.com/en/Smart-Pallet.

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