Accu-Sort announces Side-by-Side Package Detection

April 27, 2010 - Accu-Sort Systems, Inc. is introducing a software option for its AV6010 camera bar-code scanner that minimizes mis-shipments, eliminating the need for manual detection and handling of closely spaced cartons that could otherwise be mistaken for a single package in an automated warehouse system. The Accu-Sort Side-by-Side Detection System provides unsurpassed accuracy and performance by correctly identifying side-by-side packages using a unique three-in-one approach to detection.

Unlike other approaches to side-by-side package detection, the new software combines three types of information from three different sources in the AccuVision AV6010 camera bar-code system, which allows it to make more robust detection decisions. Typically, as packages move down a conveyor, bar-code systems detect each package separately based on the space between them. However, if two packages are located side by side on the conveyor, bar-code systems can mis-identify them as a single package. In contrast, when the optional Side-by-Side Detection software is enabled, the AV6010 system:
  • Measures the height of side-by-side packages; if two different heights are detected, the software determines that two packages are present.
  • Detects the outer edges of items and determines, based on the package outline, if more than one package is present.
  • Reads the package bar codes; if multiple bar code labels are detected, then the system identifies two packages.

  • Accu-Sort is the only company to use an integrated, multidimensional approach to detect side-by-side packages and reduce false positives and negatives. As a result, its system minimizes the number of mis-routed and mis-shipped packages, which require costly manual intervention.

    Unlike some competitive detection systems that must be installed beneath the conveyor and require a gap in the belt, the Accu-Sort system has the advantage of using the existing overhead-mounted AV6010 camera bar-code scanner. For this reason, Accu-Sort's Side-by-Side Package Detection is the only system that is also compatible with tilt-tray conveyors.

    Simpler installation is only the first advantage of this new package detection approach. An Optimization Tool included with the Side-by-Side Detection System allows users to analyze results and then adjust detection thresholds to improve accuracy. This is especially beneficial in settings where package characteristics change over time; it is also more efficient than competitive approaches that rely on time-consuming package testing to tune their systems. Distribution center managers who routinely capture images for analysis can also use this tool to quantify detection results and further optimize performance.

    For added convenience, the Side-by-Side Detection software allows excluding items based on bar codes entered into the system's memory. This feature is useful when the automation system must handle a combination of open totes and boxes on the conveyor. Because a tote is open at the top, it may appear to the system as a false side-by-side event. To prevent this, all totes can be assigned a special bar code that identifies them as totes, so they won't be counted as side-by-side packages.

    Large retail distribution centers and parcel shipment hubs will find the AV6010 Camera System with Side-by-Side Detection of particular interest because of its convenient operation, flexible installation, and superior accuracy, but it will benefit any operation that has a problem with non-singulated cuboidal packages.