Industry News

Application of Vehicle Wireless Terminal in Logistics Distribution Center

I. Overview
Nowadays, how to reduce the logistics cost of products in delivery is a serious problem in logistics industry. Generally speaking, this can be achieved in the following two ways. One is to decrease the inventory, and the other is to reduce the loss of products. To achieve these purposes, the distribution center should track the logistics and control the inventory while decreasing the error rate of operation. Therefore, this requires every operation of the distribution center to be accurate and timely, as well as with traceability, controllability, and coordinability.
Nowadays, information technology is used widely, and workflow management of distribution center should take advantage of information flow to control the logistics. Only by collecting real-time data during the whole logistics can we meet the demands of fast economy development in the present stage. Vehicle wireless terminal enables you to collect and transmit real-time inventory information, by which it is able to make and optimize the operation planning to shorten the cycle time of inventory.
The barcode technology, wireless LAN technology, and data collecting technology are combined to create the field operating system. The wireless vehicle data terminal allows the enterprise management system to be equipped in hand or on the forklift, making the operation more convenient and the system more intelligent. Equip the wireless vehicle terminal to the forklift and guide the operation with information, and thus the vehicle data terminal is built.
II. Special advantages
The wireless vehicle data terminal is specially designed for carrying machine like forklift. It integrates features of barcode scanning, data processing, wireless communication, tightness, and anti-shake; uses the DOS operating system and has similar PC structure. The external long-distance laser barcode scanner enables scanning all 1D barcode. The built-in WLAN card supports wireless LAN standard, such as 802.11b and OpenAir. Bright EL display screen supports Chinese characters and allows working in any light environment.
Special advantages:
1. Installed in lifting truck, forklift, trailer, or other industrial vehicles, enabling information operation during the movement;
2. The vehicle terminal is able to access the enterprise management system through wireless network, establishing a virtual office environment in forklift;
3. GUI is convenient to operate and also improves the working efficiency considerably;
4. Suitable for harsh working environment, such as dust, oil-sludge, or other contamination.
III. Application
The solutions of logistics distribution center that uses barcode management and vehicle wireless terminal are introduced as follows:
1. Network structure
All wireless handheld terminals access the LAN through wireless AP and connect to the background database. The background database runs on a special server, constructing a network segment for all wireless devices (including handheld terminals and AP). To ensure the smooth communication, the server offers one communication port for each terminal, and each terminal uses one fixed port to prevent the mix up during the data communication.
The front-end uses vehicle external handheld barcode scanner, barcode printer (for printing barcode tag), printer (for printing delivery voucher/warehouse voucher) and AP to connect the original WMS database.
2. Function module
Main function modules of the system:
Mixed cargo receiving and non-mixed cargo receiving
On shelf
Warehouse shifting and cargo replenishing (instruction mode)/Non-instruction warehouse shifting/Non-instruction cargo replenishing
Stock check/Location check
3. Main operation flow
We must check the goods details first when we receive the goods from the manufacturer, and then we input the details into our management system. The management software creates a barcode tag with unique identification number, as well as preparing an idle shelf, for each batch of goods. Then, the vehicle computer informs the forklift driver to put the goods on the scheduled shelf. The driver creates a barcode tag for goods with vehicle scanning system in the receiving dock, and sends the goods to the appointed place based on the tips shown on the screen of vehicle terminal. Every shelf has a unique identification number and the forklift driver has to input the number that matched the system before storing the cargo on the appointed shelf. Finally, the system confirms that the warehousing of goods completes.
The operator prepares the distribution goods according to the order made in the last night. The system knows how many goods on each shelf. If the goods are in short supply, it informs the driver to pick up goods from higher shelf that stores the same goods.
Inventory controller can communicate with the forklift driver through the wireless network. They can stop the current pick-up when the inventory of bulk cargo is smaller than the safe inventory, and request the forklift driver to complement the bulk cargo inventory. Contrarily, if the forklift driver finds an error in the inventory or inventory unit, he/she can inform the inventory controller through the wireless network to solve it immediately.
The real-time feature of wireless network solves the normal waiting and mismatch during the operation. The management system will instruct the forklift to draw the goods in the nearest way, minimizing the waiting time.
IV. Product details
The system uses a new mobile terminal, vehicle terminal, released by Darveen. This VT-825 model can be used in various harsh environments such as warehouse and load/unload dock (works normally under -30°C environment). Product details: Standard Windows XP system, Intel 800 MHz processor, 512 MB memory, integrated Ethernet interface, 20 GB anti-shake hard disk, or 2 GB Flash. VT-825 uses a 12.1" LCD touch screen with a resolution of 800*600. Besides, it also supports 2.4 GHz 802.11b wireless network (optional). What is more, there are many optional accessories. Through simple combination, it can become a standard desktop computer.
V. Conclusion
The following are the advantages of the system combined with barcode management and wireless devices:
Flowing information of goods can be revealed in the system as soon as possible. The system can monitor the inventory in real-time and solve the critical situation of safe inventory automatically. For example, if the inventory in storage area and cross docking area does not satisfy the customer