PALLET INDENTIFICATION AND TRACEABILITY FM LOGISTIC IS BETTING ON AUTOMATIONFrance
Managing traceability is a key process enabling FM Logistic to ensure operational excellence. For international service provider FM Logistic, the identification of pallets in transit is a major component of this process, in terms of tracking products, time savings and overall quality. This is why the group, through its policy of continual process improvement and through its dedication to innovation, analysed the requirements of its sites and imagined an original solution.
FM Logistic, working with its partners, DATALOGIC, specialist in automatic data capture and automation and JAM France, integrator of identification and tracking solutions, developed a new concept for its client, the Unilever group: the on-board scanner for forklifts. This solution has the advantage of both improving the ergonomics of workstations and generating significant increases in productivity during identification operations.
A concept inspired by tried and tested technology
The on-board scanner solution consists of replacing the classic bar code reader, used manually by forklift truck operators, with an automatic reader affixed to the carriage of forklifts. The wide field scanner that enables the reading of bar codes is protected by a metallic housing.
“For this project, we answered the constraints expressed in FM Logistic’s specifications: a modular and independent electronic solution (a battery providing the scanner’s independent energy source), mechanically resistant and capable of reading SSCC type bar codes (the code EAN 128 being dedicated to "large-scale retail outlets") at very high speeds,” explains Jean-Luc Crozet, manager of JAM France.
The originality of this innovation resides in its "zero wire" unit, which gives scanners much greater autonomy in terms of data communication thanks to the interference-free (433 MHz), wireless technology developed by Datalogic ADC.
The fixed scanner, developed by Datalogic Automation, combines high-speed reading and high capacity to read bar codes along the entire width of a pallet at a height of nearly 800 mm.
The design of this on-board scanner can be adapted to every sort of technical constraint, such as the wide variety of forklifts and carriages used, as well as the specific aspects of every type of activity, whether bar codes, the positioning of labels and the standards used, the process implemented, etc.
On-board scanner: enhanced ergonomics and increased productivity
Thanks to this “Plug and Play” solution, FM Logistic is now taking full advantage of automatic pallet scanning across all its sites, an advance benefiting both the entire group and all its customers:
- Workstation ergonomics: The operation requiring the forklift truck operators to scan pallet after pallet, at the cost of repetitive and wearing movements has been eliminated. Today, pallets are identified automatically without any additional physical steps: a major improvement in terms of human health and safety in the workplace.
- Compatibility with the entire fleet of forklifts: the development of a standard block that can be configured for every position and that runs on a battery makes it possible to equip all the forklifts, regardless of brand or type, thereby guaranteeing the full autonomy of these machines during working hours.
- Increased productivity: Time saved, about 4 seconds per scan, makes it possible to finance the investment in the equipment for its full life cycle. These savings are especially appreciated by operators in terms of improved comfort and of real-time validation of the pallet when unstacking, a system that also enables them save even more time by avoiding errors.
“Standardisation of the on-board scanner has not only enabled FM Logistic to quickly absorb the outlays involved, but to also increase its development potential on other sites,” explains Jacques Fougerousse, Solutions Director at FM Logistic. “This innovative solution, initiated and first deployed by the platform at Fauverney, is currently in production at several sites in France. A plan to roll out this project to other sites is currently underway at the group level. It is consistent with one of the Company’s strategic areas of development, which consists of strengthening our operational excellence through continual improvement.”
About FM Logistic
Founded in 1967, in Lorraine, FM Logistic is one of the leading players in the warehousing, transport, co-packing and supply chain businesses. The expertise of this independent, family operated international group is in the logistics and food processing industry, large-scale retail outlets or “big box” stores, personal hygiene health and beauty as well as home cleaning products. It also serves customers in the luxury, healthcare and heavy industry sectors.
Present in 12 countries with 18,730 employees, FM Logistic and generated turnover of over a billion euros as of 31 March 2014, at the end of its fiscal year, registering annual growth of 18%.
In addition, to its campaign of international expansion, the development of FM Logistic is focused on a policy of continual innovation, pursued while also respecting the environment. Under this framework, the group is the pioneer in “pooling", i.e. the sharing of transport and logistical resources, a concept for which has received numerous awards in recent years. Ecologically responsible by conviction, in 2014 the company joined the Green Freight Europe programme, an independent initiative aimed at improving the ecological performance of freight transport in Europe.
For more information: www.fmlogistic.com
About JAM France
Certified by the leading OEMs in the domain (Zebra, TSC, Honeywell, Datalogic, Cisco, Teklynx, Soti, Itworks), JAM France has been operating for more than 22 years on the market as an integrator of automatic marking, traceability and mobility solutions.
From audit to specifications all the way to implementation and training, JAM France ensures all the steps: study of the Wi-Fi site, wiring, printing, consumables, portable reading and input and software application integration.
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