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Vitronic has supplied a range of systems for Hermes’ national distribution hub in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Parcels arrive at the Nuneaton hub in transit vehicles, which operators unload using telescopic boom conveyors.

These transfer items onto one of two infeed conveyors, each of which runs through a scanning tunnel.

From here, parcels flow onto two sorters, which direct them to the appropriate loading bays for dispatch.

The scanning tunnels use Vitronic technology to capture detailed parcel-related data.

In each, a Vipac D1 volume-measuring unit builds a 3D image of each parcel using lasers and calculates its dimensions.

Hermes will use this data to optimise transit space in vehicles, verify package data provided by customers and automate invoicing.

After parcels exit Vipac D1, they run through Vipac, Vitronic’s camera-based recognition system.

Each of Hermes Nuneaton’s two Vipac units uses six high-resolution, Vitronic Vicam-ssi2 line-scan cameras to capture images of five sides of parcels at high speed.

Software analyses the captured images, isolates parcel labels and reads barcodes on the labels, passing the data to the sorters and allowing them to send items to the correct loading bay for dispatch.

Two of the cameras on each Vipac unit capture images of the top sides of parcels from different angles, allowing the software to read labels on uneven surfaces.

At Hermes Nuneaton, the infeed conveyors run through the Vipac camera tunnels at speeds of 2m/sec.

The Nuneaton hub is also equipped with Vitronic’s My Vipac-web software.

This allows operators to configure the system to read different types of barcode, run statistics on the facility’s overall performance and throughput, and archive read results.

Operators can also use My Vipac-web to monitor the scanning tunnels, check system status, search for and retrieve individual parcel images and acquired data, and run diagnostics to identify potential problems.

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