How the Zebra Portfolio Has Your Solution

in Wilco Imaging Blog

Introducing Zebra’s Fixed Scanning and Machine Vision Solutions

Earlier this year, Wilco Imaging was pleased to announce our new partnership with Zebra Technologies. Zebra has long been recognized as a global leader in data capture, workforce mobility, and intelligent automation solutions, and we’re certain their innovative technology will be a great fit for many of our customers.

Zebra’s goal is to connect businesses of all sizes to the data they need to optimize workflows and improve decision-making in real-time. In addition to industry-leading barcode scanners, mobile computers, rugged tablets, and printers, Zebra recently launched an impressive portfolio of fixed industrial scanning (FIS) and machine vision (MV) solutions. Given Zebra’s strong heritage of innovation in data capture and their proven ability to help customers maximize the value of technology investments, we’re especially eager to explore their FIS/MV solutions.

Historically, one of the drawbacks to automated data and image capture technology has been the complexity of the systems. Even though the science of machine vision has been around for decades, installing and configuring the hardware and software in real-world settings like manufacturing plants and distribution centers has been a complex and time-consuming process. Many vendors require one set of tools for fixed scanning applications and a completely different set of tools for machine vision applications. Zebra FIS/MV solutions change that entirely.


One Unified Portfolio

Zebra understands that one of the keys to making technology effective is making it easy to deploy and manage—you’ll never maximize your ROI with tools that are too hard to set up or too complicated to operate. That’s why they designed their entire FIS/MV portfolio as a complete ecosystem running on a unified software platform; Zebra Aurora.

Aurora was engineered specifically to put powerful data and image capture tools at users’ fingertips. It uses a thoroughly modern, intuitive interface to dramatically reduce the time and training required to get new users up to speed. You certainly don’t need to be a machine vision expert to use Zebra’s solutions. Once users begin to develop applications, they’ll find it easy to apply their new skills to a variety of use cases, which will undoubtedly accelerate your ROI.

Another key advantage of Zebra’s FIS/MV portfolio is scalability. The tools were designed right from the start to support a flexible upgrade path that allows businesses to start small and grow without the need to rip-and-replace whole systems as needs evolve. In fact, Zebra’s lineup allows you to start with basic fixed scanning capabilities and add new capabilities—new symbology’s, increase scanning speeds, machine vision functionality—via simple license upgrades with no need for new hardware.


Common Applications

One of the most common applications for fixed industrial scanners is the track-and-trace of materials on a production line or packages through distribution. Fixed scanners offer the ability to capture and decode barcodes much faster than manual systems, but the capabilities go much further. For example, in addition to verifying that an item has passed a checkpoint, fixed scanners are often configured to verify the accuracy of labels, automatically confirm that all items in an order are present, and even trigger routing actions.

Zebra’s machine vision systems really shine in quality inspection applications that take advantage of advanced imaging capabilities to automatically identify inconsistencies. The range of defects that these systems can detect is broad, from packaging and labeling anomalies to detailed quality control inspections. For example, a manufacturer of consumer electronics might use machine vision to automatically compare an assembly to a target design to identify discrepancies and alert inspectors to potential problems before they impact downstream processes.

In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll be following up with more details about the benefits and uses of Zebra’s FIS/MV systems. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact Wilco Imaging for more information.

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