The big question in the era of big data is how to harness vast amounts of data and distill it into actionable information. Now, Sick Inc., a supplier of automatic identification, vision, industrial sensor, and safety products for applications in the retail logistics, parcel and postal, automotive, and consumer goods industries, has launched a tool to help customers make use of the millions of image captures its tools make each day.
Sick's package of analytic tools enables users to search among all the images captured as products move through a material handling system to find those with specific attributes, such as damaged packages, low-quality bar codes, or products from specific shippers. Paul Barba, global manager of analytical software for Sick, explains that advances in storage technology that have led to sharply lower costs of storage mean end users can keep large amounts of data that may need further analysis.
He says the ability to home in on specific issues is useful for a number of operational areas, including maintenance, quality control, and customer service. The system has already been installed by several large customers, he said.
Right now, the analytics can take place at either a system or facility level. "We're working with customers to bring it to the enterprise level," Barba added.