To maximize supply chain efficiency and optimize costs, operators need accurate dimensions and physical characteristics of every SKU in their mix, which can be difficult to build and maintain in today’s high-throughput, high-mix environments with ever-changing source packaging. During a ProMatDX seminar Tuesday morning, Matt Reynolds, founder and chief scientist from imaging sensor manufacturer ThruWave Inc., discussed key sensing technologies for capturing this SKU-level data in real-time, including 3D depth cameras, and the newly available 3D millimeter-wave (mmWave) sensors that image items through opaque packaging.
3D mmWave sensors use radio waves to penetrate most nonmetallic packaging materials such as cardboard, plastics, air packs, and wood. This technology is human-safe, easy to install, and requires little maintenance. 3D sensors can be used to automatically audit your storage and packing operations to provide real-time feedback on how well your facility is performing. This includes automated tracking of cube utilization, item count, and detection of missing or damaged items.
Reynolds explained the areas where mmWave imaging sensors can be utilized in a warehouse or distribution center: