SICK’s barcode scanners endured stress test at Febelco | Yitch

SICK’s barcode scanners endured stress test at Febelco

Cases

In order to achieve a faultless and accurate order picking at the pharmaceutical wholesaler Febelco, the scanners need to read barcodes within a fraction of a second. Yitch was given the task to optimise the scanning system and the order picking process.

Optimisation of barcode scanners and controlling the order picking process

In order to achieve a faultless and accurate order picking at the pharmaceutical wholesaler Febelco, the scanners need to read barcodes within a fraction of a second. Yitch was given the task to optimise the scanning system and the order picking process.

 

 

Approach

We replaced the existing PC with a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller). The network was upgraded to the high quality Ethernet/IP. The cycle time of the whole system has been reduced to 2-3 milliseconds thanks to the conversion. 

To make full advantage of the short cycle time, Febelco needed high-speed scanners. To find the best scanner, we organised a stress test with multiple scanners. The candidates were triggered more than 500.000 times during the night. At the end the CLV620-series of SICK came out on top. 

 

 

Result

The result of the conversion is that the error rate in the picking process is reduced to practically zero. During scanning there are no errors whatsoever. 

 

 

Context

The challenge at Febelco was a big one. The company daily supplies over 2.500 pharmacies from 8 distribution centers with an assortment of 43.000 products. Up till 3 or 4 times a day. The order amount per day per distribution center can reach up to 7.000.

Based on a barcode the system determines which bin should be transported to which sector in the warehouse via the conveyor belt. The most important element in this process is the scan rate. If the evaluation of the scan takes too long, the bin may have passed the sorting point.