‘Mobility is a clear trend’
With a lot of firsts and a number of patents in the barcode technology, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility is constantly looking to develop it further so that the shipping industry as a whole can benefit. Rafael Hernandez, its Industry Marketing Manager for E
How can the barcode technology as we know it today be developed to include never-beforethought-of uses in the shipping industry?
The barcode technology is improving greatly as processor power also increases with quality, miniaturisation and the latest state-of-the-art lenses that are used to read information.
Barcode readers could be integrated into computers that are fully designed to run outdoors, fully portable, single-handedly online connected by multiple radios (LAN 802.11 or WAN GPRS/3G). The result is not just a barcode reader – it is a complete information system ready to receive information and capture data at any location. What do these developments mean to the shipping industry?
For the shipping industry, these developments mean having ready devices that can read a barcode label 54 feet high. Its ability is not limited to reading a barcode but also be able to read the barcode letters and numbers from a container or from a trailer and convert them into a manageable format. What other uses can it have?
The device can also take photographic images of unsealed or damaged containers. For instance, a large European shipping company manages 7,000 containers each week which are often stacked five high. Tracking the location of each container is mandatory. Every evening after the port closes the company issues ‘walkers’ throughout its yard to manually record each container’s code.
Half of the containers have codes printed vertically which are believed to be unreadable using any type of scanner. This assumption has prevented them from automating. Honeywell introduced the idea of using its software imaging to capture both the vertical and horizontal codes and digitally convert them without any issues.
The EX25 (a scan engine that can be integrated to a mobile device like CK71 or in a barcode reader like SR61) is capable of scanning a barcode that is over 20 feet high; which is usually the case when multiple containers are stacked one above the other.
With these combined capabilities, containers can be scanned by simply driving by, thus speeding up this daily process of the ‘walkers’. To conclude, the shipping company resolved its issues associated with manually recording container codes. This has also improved container code recording accuracy and has saved several man hours. What trends do you see emerging from the India market?
The Indian market has shown great potential for manufacturing and incrementing exportations. Hence there is a need for more sophisticated tools for automatic data capture, thus assuring data is captured with 100% accuracy. What is your vision for this industry?
Mobility is a clear trend affecting all business areas. Users increasingly need to be interconnected and have online access to ERP systems. ERP systems in turn need to have access to all resources in the company, assets and people and in the end be able to manage information wherever it is located. Even in purely manufacturing processes, production plants are fully connected with customer demand and maintain a full communication with suppliers in order to track the entire supply chain.