Hazardous material detection application

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Postal recognition technology provider, Prime Vision, has launched a new application, which aims to reduce the number of dangerous goods parcels entering the automated sorting system. The application has been added to the company’s existing OCR solution.

Dangerous goods present many threats to posts’ personnel, automation solutions and facilities. Therefore the segregation and special handling of these goods is critical for maintaining safety. Clear labelling of parcels containing hazardous materials is a pre-requisite under the terms of carriage for most companies.

Until now, segregating dangerous goods parcels has relied on operators spotting the hazard labels on the parcel and ensuring it does not enter the mechanical sorting systems. Operators can be highly trained and vigilant, but they are still human and therefore there is a probability of error.

Prime Vision is now working with industry partners and postal operators to install the new application to minimise the risks associated with handling dangerous goods. The greatest risks are when hazardous materials, which can be as mundane as a can of hairspray, are mistakenly loaded onto the automated sorting system – an area not commonly overseen by staff. At this stage of the process parcels are transported at high speed and often diverted down chutes onto fast moving conveyors. This has the potential to be a rough ride for a parcel that has the capacity to be an explosive device.

The Prime Vision solution detects any labelled hazardous material within the sorting environment and initiates the safe shutdown of systems to enable an operator to remove the item or take appropriate action. Furthermore, the solution is highly cost efficient as it uses the customer’s existing camera identification systems on the sorter for the purpose.

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