Spanish citrus giant Fontestad claims that Datalogic Matrix 300N cameras have enabled the company to improve quality objectives while saving resources and time at its processing facility. The new solution unifies all Fontestad’s processes into a single automated system and provides real-time information about production, including the location and productivity of their operators, who help the company to produce over 160 million kilograms of oranges per year.
Due to growth in the volume of pallet traffic and a constant rise in production, Fontestad was looking to implement additional automation into its production facility. The desired solution needed to eliminate existing manual processes, which had a high risk of information loss, and allow production information to be associated with individual operators.
In addition to seeking a solution that would allow them to monitor operator productivity, Fontestad needed a solution that would cope with changeable ambient lighting throughout the day, a challenge that complicated the decoding of barcodes. It was also important that the new solution could be integrated with its existing automation system, used for the accurate tracking and tracing of produce throughout the facility. Datalogic proposed Matrix 300N fixed 2D readers as the most versatile solution for different reading and data capture points throughout the production process.
As soon as boxes filled with fruit arrive from the field, they are labelled with all the details about their origin and other information necessary for their traceability. Then the fruit is pre-calibrated and stored in cold rooms, or vice versa. Once pre-calibrated the fruit is re-labelled with the quantity and date ready to make the different types of products for sale. Once the boxes are made, they are labelled once more and ready for order preparation. The Datalogic Matrix 300N cameras also allowed easy integration with Fontestad’s existing system and the programmable reader meant that Fontestad’s own IT department could configure the devices to meet their needs.
The liquid lens embedded within the Matrix 300N and autofocus functionality allows greater depth of field to capture data accurately at variable reading distances, and its high capacity and speed of decoding barcodes frees up the resources of the Fontestad computer system. In addition, integrated, self-adapting lighting eliminates image capture problems and ensures successful reading regardless of ambient light changes throughout the day.
Fontestad now has a unified system with integrated Datalogic cameras, allowing them to control all processes, from stock management to production and productivity control. With the aid of the Matrix cameras, Fontestad can track what each operator has produced and analyse of the cost of labour. Operators control a screen that indicates the stock level, assigns stock to orders before they start producing and allows them to see what they have left to produce. In addition to capturing data, the automated system at Fontestad has built-in Datalogic safety curtains to guarantee the protection of each operator throughout every stage of the production process.
“Datalogic devices have helped us reduce the resources used and improve the results. The solution allows us to have real time information of our processes and to know the location and productivity of the operators,” comments Fontestad’s Director of Production.