Visualization: The Digital Turnaround in Logistics

October 15, 2018

Visual systems, information from business software and intelligent interface technology - these are the ingredients for trend-setting solutions in the areas of security and process optimization. Medium-sized companies in particular can look forward to an efficient and yield-increasing entry into digital transformation.

Visual systems, information from business software and intelligent interface technology - these are the ingredients for trend-setting solutions in the areas of security and process optimization. Medium-sized companies in particular can look forward to an efficient and yield-increasing entry into digital transformation.

Windhagen, 15th October 2018 - With a constantly growing portfolio of intelligent visualization solutions and services, Geutebrück GmbH has been addressing the needs of the logistics industry. The integration of state-of-the-art interface technology makes it possible to link information from the ERP system with the camera data in real time and to generate highly efficient solutions from this - a rewarding path to digital corporate transformation for medium-sized businesses.

Logistics is one of the German industrial sectors that is most hesitant when it comes to digitization. According to a survey by the German Logistics Association (BVL), 81 percent of logistics companies have hardly or only partially integrated digital processes into their daily work. At the same time, only 11 percent of respondents believe that digitization would not benefit their business. In addition to a lack of personnel, the main reasons given for their refusal to digitise are concerns about costs and effort.

For this reason, time-consuming, personnel-intensive and error-prone manual processes continue to dominate day-to-day business in many companies. However, the digitization hurdles perceived by logistics companies can increasingly be counteracted by modern technology. In the longer term, for example, autonomous means of transport should help to ease the shortage of skilled workers. Even more directly, intelligent technologies and strategies can reduce companies' own efforts in digital transformation. Geutebrück, one of the world's leading providers of video surveillance solutions, has proven this with numerous solutions for the intelligent linking of video and process data. As CEO Christoph Hoffmann explains: "The connection between cameras and data creates immediate transparency. It enables companies to react quickly to unusual situations, to document critical process steps (particularly important when clarifying liability issues) and to proactively prevent bottlenecks, emergencies or downtime through real-time communication. A highly developed interface technology such as the ones Geutebrück has implemented with years of experience in digitization projects in various industries is indispensable. As a result, it facilitates the integration of hardware and software systems from a wide range of manufacturers and standards into a single infrastructure".

Images and data for security and efficiency

Video surveillance solutions from the German-based family-owned company support companies in the logistics industry both in securing assets and in optimizing business processes. The solutions, which are tailored to the respective requirement situation, protect, for example, the forwarding area from intruders, vandalism or damage. In combination with the data from the company software, the systems independently identify authorized and unauthorized accesses or entrances. The various entrances to the site are secured by cameras, which automatically record the license plates of all vehicles entering and leaving the site and compare them with the data from Black/White lists. The condition of loaded vehicles can thus also be documented, which is crucial for clarifying possible liability issues: the number, condition and type of goods are visually documented at goods receipt. In the event of irregularities, a quick comparison of the (tamper-proof) image with the target state stored in the business system, realised via barcode and ERP interface, shows whether the number and state of the goods correspond to the specifications. Third-party systems of all kinds, such as barcode scanners, access control or merchandise management systems, can be integrated just as easily via appropriate interfaces, as well as new and existing analog or IP cameras.

The visualization technologies originally developed for security purposes with their combination of process and image data are now increasingly being used within the framework of logistical processes in the supply chain. Intelligent interface technology makes it possible to immediately detect and eliminate errors in the process sequence (e.g. in package conveyor belts or in the material flow). Within vehicles, the technology is used, among other things, for quality assurance: interfaces to the weighing station or to the cooling system allow deviations from the standard state to be detected. Information such as the actual temperature of the goods or weight is added to the video image in the system and documented. A target value, which is also stored, immediately reveals any deviation. Image and process data allow the analysis of the situation and the identification of possible sources of error.

Artificial intelligence as a competitive factor

The advancement of such technologies through the inclusion of artificial intelligence enables the transition to a proactive process: for example, the incorrect placement of an object on a conveyor belt can be detected, evaluated and reported in real time, so that intervention is possible before expensive conveyor belt downtimes occur. This opens up countless new fields of application. This includes, for example, automatic video monitoring of packaging processes in a wide variety of industries, networked via interface technology with merchandise management, planning or building management systems, or the control of material flows in production. For medium-sized companies with limited resources, this opens wide doors to the digital future. CEO Katharina Geutebrück: "The real-time visualization - a decisive component of Logistics 4.0 - leads to noticeable time and cost savings and thus to an increase in earnings in the value chain. We're talking about value imaging here. The use of intelligent visualization solutions results in considerable financial advantages and an increase in competitiveness, especially for German SMEs. Existing infrastructure can be further used by efficient interface solutions, new technology can be integrated into the architecture without problems. This guarantees investment protection, backward compatibility and sustainability at the same time. High expenditure as an argument against the digital transformation is thus increasingly becoming a lame excuse."