Machine Vision and Fixed Scanning Use Cases

in Wilco Imaging Blog

You don’t have to look too closely to see how global manufacturing and logistics industries have changed over the past few years. Just scratch the surface and you’ll see rising worldwide labor shortages, ongoing supply chain disruption, a massive shift to ecommerce, and ever-increasing customer demand for improved quality and speed.

And the tectonic shifts we’ve seen recently are not expected to abate any time soon. Even prior to the post-COVID “great resignation,” analysts were forecasting a global shortage of more than 85 million workers by 2030.[1] On the ecommerce front, The pre-COVID global e-commerce market that was valued at USD 9.09 trillion in 2019 is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7% from 2020 to 2027.[2]

To meet the demands of ever-increasing expectations and tougher operating conditions, many businesses are embracing automation solutions that can deliver three key objectives:

      1. Accelerate throughput
      2. Improve product consistency and quality control
      3. Automate workflows to reduce labor costs


      Machine Vision Technology: Not Just for the Big Guys Anymore


      Among the automation solutions that more and more companies are turning to meet today’s challenges are fixed industrial scanning and machine vision technology. Just a few years ago, early iterations of machine vision tools were so complex that they were mostly limited to big corporations that could afford large up-front investments and long lead times. Today, however, a convergence of scanning and machine vision tools led by Zebra Technologies has made it possible for just about any organization to realize the goals of industrial automation.

      Recognizing that every business has a need for higher levels of efficiency and productivity, Zebra has focused on making their machine vision solutions simple to use and easily integrate into existing operations. Instead of requiring separate hardware and software for each application, Zebra’s tools unify machine vision and fixed scanning capabilities in a single, easy-to-manage platform that can handle everything from high-speed barcode scanning to detailed product inspection.


      Sample Use Case: One Platform, Many Applications

      A typical manufacturing operation will have countless applications for both fixed industrial scanning and machine vision tools as products move through production and distribution. For example, consider a manufacturing and packaging workflow that already uses fixed industrial scanners to automate product and package sorting. With Zebra’s automation platform, a simple software upgrade is all the manufacturer needs to add support for support quality control applications such as:

          1. Confirming product barcode accuracy and placement
          2. Inspecting the readability and placement of product labels
          3. Inspecting products for completeness
          4. Evaluating fill quantity
          5. Sorting products for packaging


          Then, after products move through packaging, the same system can also:

            1. Scan barcodes to ensure date or lot codes are present
            2. Inspect packaging quality
            3. Sort packages for shipping
            4. Track products as they move through distribution

            In this example, the manufacturer is using Zebra’s fixed scanning and machine vision solutions to ensure every product is inspected to meet rigorous quality control standards while also automatically tracking every product throughout distribution—and they’re accomplishing all those goals without operator interaction. The result is higher productivity and better consistency with less labor, which is exactly what so many businesses are striving for today.

            If you would like to learn how Zebra machine vision solutions can help you meet today’s challenges, contact us for a quote or more information!




            [1] Korn Ferry, Future of Work: The Global Talent Crunch, 2018.
            [2] Grandview Research, E-commerce Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Model Type (B2B, B2C), By Region (North America, Europe, APAC, Latin America, Middle East & Africa), And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

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