An important industrial laundry in Bourg-en-Bresse has recently tested and installed a new solution for reading barcodes on hangers and garments. Using a Cognex DataMan 300 player, it now achieves a reading rate of 99.99%, with a direct impact on productivity: reduced costs and increased speeds.
Read the codes perfectly: an obligation to make a laundry work smoothly
The bourg-en-Bresse industrial laundry processes 40 tons of linen a day, including 18,000 garments. In this laundry, each garment and hanger is identified by a unique name label and barcode, guaranteeing their traceability at all times. Reading the codes is therefore essential for the operation of the laundry.
The codes are read in two specific areas, that of triage and visiting. After washing, the clothes are installed on hangers and transported to a sorting area, where they scroll at the rate of a hanger code every 12 cm. 120 garments are processed per minute. Reading the barcode on the hanger allows the clothes to be directed to the storage area allocated to their owner, before shipping. In the visiting area, an operator inspects each garment for holes, stains or other defects that would require additional treatment of the garment (repair or new cleaning). In this area, the codes are found on both the garment and the hanger. Their reading helps locate the garment.
"Until now," explains Jean-François Guillemin, laundry maintenance manager, "we used laser scanners for these readings and we hardly achieved a reading rate of 97% at best. That is, on average, 500 unread hangers and as many unaffected clothing as had to be manually retriated. As a result, a waste of time and money."
DataMan 300 : un perfectly suited drive to the laundrys industrials
The laundry in Bourg-en-Bresse was therefore looking to improve this reading on hanger. A Cognex 1D and 2D DataMan 300 code reader-imager has been installed and tested... The results were immediately convincing and the laundry equipped its sorting areas and visiting these readers. In both areas, the use of an imager instead of a laser scanner resulted in a more robust decoding.
Thanks to its patented technologies, the DataMan 300 is perfectly suited to the problems of an industrial laundry: with ip65 waterproofing, it is able to process a large number of barcodes, in good condition or not, with reading rates of almost 100%, an easy deployment and a long life of the system.
"The barcodes printed on clothing and hangers are permanent and are subjected to severe stress, between repetitive washes, shocks and multiple manipulations. Codes tarnished, scratched, worn... I don't care. The DataMan 300, equipped with 1DMax software, is capable of reading all the codes, even the most degraded, regardless of their position and orientation," stresses Jean-François Guillemin. A significant advantage, especially in the visiting area where the hangers swing strongly in front of the reader and make it more difficult to read.
Easier deployment and reduced investment
The DataMan 300 has other economic advantages: their introduction in the laundry has been simplified thanks to their autofocus and integrated LED lighting. The reader sets the lighting himself to ensure a good reading, without human intervention. In addition, only one device is required to read the two code sizes corresponding to the two types of hangers; As a result, two DataMan 300s were sufficient to replace the three laser scanners that were installed on the Visitage station. Another benefit is that the ability to view and transfer the reader's images allows you to analyze the reason for the unread codes, when they remain.
A reading rate of more than 99.99% ... Is 90% fewer rejections
Since the installation of DataMan 300 readers on its sorting and visiting areas, the Bourg-en-Bresse laundry has recorded impressive results: the successful reading rate of the codes has increased from 97% to more than 99.9% observed. And the number of unaffected clothing has dropped to less than 50. "The reading being more reliable, the sorting errors have disappeared and the delivery to the customer of the right garment is now guaranteed, in any case," concludes Jean-François Guillemin.
Find out more: www.cognex.com