Vision improves efficiency for Austrian parcel carrier

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Austrian company Post.at, one of the country's leading parcel carriers, has installed OCR, video coding and a parcel image archive at its sorting centre in Vienna and six regional sites. The investment is designed to achieve greater efficiency from its nationwide delivery network.

In common with most parcel carriers, Post.at had relied on labour intensive manual coding, but to grow the business this process needed to be automated. The solution was provided by a three-company consortium, including parcel automation specialist Prime Vision.

The system supplied by Prime Vision was designed to read non-EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) labels, known as AVISO in Austria. Empowered by Parcel Vision the top-face scanning cameras supplied by industrial vision company Sick, read the labels to capture address detail and determine the parcel service required. Typical variants include 'signature required', 'Saturday delivery' and 'value parcel'. This information is not contained within the bar code, but appears in standard text format.

The format of the label has an important part to play in minimising the percentage of parcels being rejected for video coding. Prime Vision advised on the design of a new label resulting in the ability of the overall system to achieve automatic read rates of greater than 60 per cent. This increased read rate has given Post.at an important edge in its bid to be the most sophisticated parcel carrier in the Austrian market.