Date: 28 August 2019
The barcode scanner has established itself as an indispensable tool in flat glass industry and trade. From incoming goods receipts in the warehouse to status registration in production on through to delivery confirmation, data is recorded via barcode scanning and transmitted to ERP and production systems.
However, the industrial scanner as we know it is quickly becoming obsolete. Mobile end user devices, such as the smartphone and other smart devices equipped with the A+W Smart Companion app, are doing the industrial scanner in. Why?
Smartphones and other smart devices come equipped with great computing power and outstanding algorithms for handling graphics. A+W Smart Companion assists users along the entire value-creation chain and contributes to its digitalization, saving time and money.
Easier, cheaper, better
Scanning via a smartphone app is easier than with traditional scanners as smartphones offers a multitude of possibilities as well as being cheaper, too. The current smart devices are also more technically sophisticated and stable since they are produced in much greater quantities than industrial scanners. Therefore, a lot more research and development potential flows into the final product.
Smart Companion for all situations
With its A+W Smart Companion app, A+W is demonstrating where software development is heading. Peter Kühn, Product Manager at A+W: "The use of various scan functionalities with current smartphones and other smart devices is already a reality. The A+W Smart Companion can fulfill all of a flat glass companies’ requirements without the disadvantages of traditional scanner hardware. The user replaces very specialized, expensive hardware with a familiar mobile device that we use all the time. Therefore, much less training is required."
Pilot project in IG production
Thomas Uhlemann, WCM Coordinator at Saint Gobain Glassolutions in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland, is piloting A+W Smart Companion in insulated glass production and is enthusiastic about the new solution: "In my opinion," says Uhlemann, "this is a quantum leap as compared to the old device – it's the simplicity of the device itself, and the user interface is kept very clean. You can select everything right away, the camera mode, the read mode, and it is precisely this ease of operation that is very important for our production workers."
As an alternative to the smartphone, Saint Gobain Glassolutions Kreuzlingen also operates the A+W Smart Companion on a Zebra smart device, which has an integrated 2D barcode scanner.
Mobile info terminal
A+W Smart Companion can also be used as a mobile info terminal. Employees can use it to display the locations of order components and the content of racks since communication becomes bidirectional.
Invalid bookings due to incorrectly read sequence on the barcodes are now impossible since A+W Smart Companion guides the user. Additionally, the read quality is much higher.
Another advantage, A+W Smart Companion can scan several barcodes at once, for example, edge compound labels on a rack. This saves a lot of time making work more productive and reducing errors.
Future-proof system for smart factories
This clever A+W app is an example of digitalization with the greatest practical value – a small piece of Industry 4.0. Intelligent apps like the A+W Smart Companion will make your processes faster, more secure, and cheaper – and in the end, that's what counts in a smart factory.