UPS automates X-raying of air freight

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A pilot project to automate the identification and x-ray of cross-border packages loaded onto aircraft has been undertaken at logistics company UPS in Cologne.

A camera-based identification system, Vipac R6 from Vitronic, and an x-ray system from Smiths Detection have been installed on the UPS conveyor. Vitronic’s device is a six-sided reading system including certified volume measurement for automated identification of barcodes and maxicodes on packages.

The two systems are combined so that a single data set is created, which means packages can be traced quickly and easily based on the shipment or tracking code.

The greyscale images of the package surface (six sides), the reading results (barcodes, 2D codes), as well as the volume and x-ray pictures are saved in a Vitronic archiving system.

The European regulation 200/2008, effective since 2010, and the German Aviation Security Act stipulate that freight has to undergo extensive security procedures (x-ray, atmosphere simulation chamber, etc.) before it is loaded into the aircraft. The new system aims to automate and speed up x-raying of packages.

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