As we move closer towards the moment when the IFOY Awards are handed out in Dortmund on June 22nd, we continue our look at all of the 2023 finalists and share the verdict from the IFOY test conducted during the evaluation by an expert jury in March. Our next entry is the second from Jungheinrich AG, its addedVIEW fork camera with barcode scanning.
The Jungheinrich addedVIEW fully digital fork camera with barcode scanning reduces storage/retrieval errors in the warehouse. It prevents incorrectly recorded goods or storage locations in the warehouse management system (WMS) and thus unplanned search times, returns or loss of goods.
IFOY category: Special of the Year
IFOY Test Report
In technical terms, the device is the first fully digital fork camera in series production, with full HD resolution, broadband automotive Ethernet data transmission and software for transferring the results to any WMS. For the Jungheinrich WMS, the product is equipped with additional intelligence that, with the help of coloured overlays in the camera image, makes it possible to recognise whether the correct or incorrect barcode is located in front of the fork as it passes by. In addition, an acknowledgement button is located near the steering wheel. This keeps the forklift driver’s hands on the controls of the industrial truck. The driver does not have to reach for the scanner, scan and put the mobile device back every time.
Scanning on-site at the storage compartment and/or the goods avoids scanning incorrect barcodes from a list at the rack foot, ensuring the WMS always receives correct data and avoiding incorrect deliveries. The high-resolution, digitally enhanced image allows labels to be read at high altitudes, bypassing the need to unstack incorrect merchandise.
By scanning with the fork-mounted camera, the location of the goods movement and the location of the scan coincide. This drastically reduces putaway/retrieval errors. Examples include putting away wrong goods but scanning the “right” barcode expected by the WMS, or taking out wrong goods but scanning the “right” barcode expected by the WMS. The camera, data transmission, image processing, forwarding to the WMS and, as in the case of Jungheinrich, the WMS itself were all newly developed or expanded – into an integrated series solution.
IFOY test verdict: The integrated series solution is unique on the market, because the addedVIEW fork camera with barcode scanning gets to the root of a previously unsolvable basic problem in logistics and offers a practical and effective solution. The previously described problem of incorrect storage is particularly pronounced in reach trucks, as mix-ups can occur in high-bay warehouses due to the large number of uniform storage locations and the low clarity in the upper rack levels. Depending on the type, 20-40% of reach trucks have tine cameras, are connected to a WMS via a radio data terminal and use handheld scanners for posting. These industrial truck operators will benefit from the innovation. But forklift drivers will also benefit from the image quality and the ergonomic acknowledgement function on the steering wheel.
IFOY Innovation Check
Market relevance: The management of goods on pallets or similar in larger warehouses with the help of reach trucks and barcodes concerns a very large area of logistics, which is why the market relevance is considered to be high. The presented digital camera-based system represents an enormous step towards the improvement of such systems, as errors are largely eliminated, positioning is supported and a large time-saving potential is associated with it.
Customer benefit: Users of the addedVIEW fork camera benefit in a very direct way from this system, which goes well beyond the camera itself by integrating it into the warehouse management system (WMS). Manual barcode scanning is no longer necessary, as direct identification of the barcodes is made possible by the high resolution of the camera. The comparison with the WMS, implemented in the background, provides direct information about the correctness of the goods or storage location. Thus, faulty storage or retrieval is reduced to a minimum or can be practically excluded. Furthermore, there are no wrong trips or unnecessary times in which incorrectly stored goods have to be searched for. All in all, this can result in a significant increase in the efficiency of the warehouse system for the user.
Novelty / Innovation: The integrated solution of a digital camera presented by Jungheinrich combines visual use with the possibility of scanning barcodes and processing them in the WMS for the first time in the field of material handling equipment. Although the individual technologies do not represent a novelty in themselves, the combination in this exemplary implementation is to be regarded as highly innovative. The challenges in the development, which in some respects reside in the details, were systematically solved. One example is the realised data transmission via the automotive Ethernet cable, which was applied to the variable geometry of the mast and which, with a total length of 30m, nevertheless guarantees a safe and fast transmission.
Functionality / Type of implementation: The components of the implemented system appear in a very robust design and thus meet requirements for durability in operation. The camera is mounted on the inside of the fork, which makes damage unlikely. Likewise, the transmission cable appears to be more than able to withstand the constant bending loads due to its specially developed design.
Verdict: The addedVIEW fork camera is convincing in every respect. Its market lead is clear.
Market relevance +
Customer benefit ++
Novelty / Innovation ++
Functionality / Type of implementation ++
[KEY: ++ very good / + good / Ø balanced / – less / — not available]