Axis and SeeTec support ABWood with video-based goods tracking solution

Axis and SeeTec support ABWood with video-based goods tracking solution
The ABWood Sp. z o.o. factory was built in 1974-1976 as the flagship of the Polish wood industry. The company is a large manufacturer of pinewood furniture using wood material prepared at its own sawmill, covering an area of over 34 hectares. ABWood does not only produce and sell tables, beds and various furniture components, but also planks, wooden garden products, pallets, as well as wood briquettes.

A key customer of ABWood is IKEA, widely known for its furniture, and by suppliers for its high quality demands. To maintain high packaging precision and to minimize deviations and missing parts for deliveries to its customer, ABWood needed a system to ensure that all parts of a product were packed into the right box and to provide visual quality control for compliance. The solution the companies were looking for had to be capable of detecting packaging errors automatically. ABWood wanted to be able to review a monitoring report and only repack one faulty package instead of repackaging a whole pallet if an error was detected during final inspection. The solution also needed to offer the capability to review records in case of claims reported by customers as well as an optical verification system for packaging lines where each layer of the parts in the packaging line should equal the amount of cameras needed. In addition, the system had to provide one picture per layer of product to prove compliance with the packaging instructions. In IKEA’s and ABWood’s common strive for excellence, an ambitious goal was set: to reduce packaging line issues by 25% in one year.

It was decided to implement the visual goods tracking solution from Axis and SeeTec. The solution monitors the packaging lines, tracks batches and integrates data from ERP / Warehouse Management Systems and RFID / barcode systems with video so that each item or shipment can be reliably identified, tracked and monitored throughout its journey through the packaging line.

This enables the solution to support quality control throughout the packaging process, with full transparency, and allows better management of customer claims and deviations. Simply put, with this solution, ABWood can quickly find out what happened in case of a problem with the packaging process and solve the issue accordingly.

Result 

With the visual goods tracking system in place, ABWood and IKEA noted results beyond all expectations. By only informing staff about the upcoming system, improvement was made. With the system in place, quality issues were reduced by 44%, which far exceeds the ambitious goal of 25% that was set in the beginning of the project. Return on investment was achieved within only 7 months.

The project itself increased awareness of packaging quality issues. It has become easier to monitor and control quality due to fast access to the relevant data. Using this data, ABWood has already identified the main problem areas in the packaging process and found solutions on how to improve them and to train staff accordingly. For instance, one finding was that most errors were made after a break in the existing shift. With new improved working methods implemented, these mistakes could be entirely eliminated. ABWood uses the visual goods tracking system to ensure that all parts of a piece of furniture are packed in the box. If there is a problem reported, the root cause can be immediately identified and corrected.

The solution has also helped to identify additional potential for improvement. The next step is now to place a screen next to each line, so co-workers can see the packaging lines live, and spot and solve quality problems as they occur.

ABWood has also investigated the possibilities of scanning every packaging to track the exact pace of the packaging-line, and to add further cameras at the loading bays to get full transparency and information about compliance of packaging issues.


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