How Can I Link My VMS / Recorder To Bar Code Scans?

I am looking for a solution for a request I have from a customer. I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. Here is the scenerio:

The customer ships products from a small shipping center. They sometimes have complaints from customers who say they didn't receive an order in full. They currently have no way to prove otherwise, even if they are pretty certain the customer may be wrong. To that end, they would like me to provide a system that would offer video/photo proof of what was included in each shipment. It's not the recording that's a problem. Any decent camera can do that, but it's the tracking and recall that is needed. How can they recall this info. quickly and on the fly? Their products are bar coded so if there were some way to scan the products as they are packaged and have that code watermarked onto the video or saved by the order number - that would be ideal.

Are there any POS, camera or inventory systems that can do this effectively? Two days of googling and contacting my normal suppliers has yielded 0 results.


Geutebruck has this system:

Most professional VMS systems / software have some form of text / data integration. Instead of the input being from a PoS or teller system, it would be from the bar code scanner. Then a user could search for the order number, etc. and pull up the associated video.

Let's see from the VMS providers how they would recommend doing this. I suspect a number of them could let you hack this in without buying a whole supply chain solution.

Disclaimer: I am the product manager for exacqVision.

exacqVision is built to accept unencrypted textual data streaming in from any number of sources: Point-of-sale, analytics systems, thermal cameras, and more.

This data can stream in from an actual serial data connection, or over an IP connection.

There are really two ways to use the data once exacqVision receives it.

1. Real-time rules can be created that generate system events that exacqVision can react to. For example a thermal camera sends a temperature reading outside of the nominal range and exacqVision can send notifications and put the camera in front of the operator.

2. Through the search screen, you can enter any text string and the results show the data and cameras at that time. In the scenario if the shipment was scanned before leaving while in front of a camera, it would be simple to search on the code in exacqVision to see video of the shipment.

Here is a video explaining some of the setup:

exacqVision user training video: Serial data

Keith, what type of barcode scanner are you using?

I am not very familiar with bar code scanners but evidently some have serial outputs or USB outputs that can emulate a serial interface.

If you have one of those, presumably you could connect it to Exacq or other VMSes that accept serial data inputs.

John,

They are not currently using any type of scanner. The system has to be built from scratch.

That's probably for the best. Pick one with either a serial or IP based output that will match up with your preferred VMS that supports taking in text via those formats.

I know for sure Milestone has a logistics Solution, implemented already in Europe (we are trying to sell it also with an installer here in Romania). I will check what i can share from the info we have, but basicaly it is a time sync between video and barcode scans which allow you to search all video related to a specific AWB. But i guess any Milestone Rep should be able to search for it in their organisation.

http://goo.gl/63hRNN This is the information Vlad is talking about. It looks pretty smart too.

Pages 11 & 12

I would suggest a scale as well. Depending on the accuracy of the scale this can answer many questions after the fact. The order can be " reconstructed ".

If you don't mind Greg, can you elaborate on scales?

Disclosure: I'm not Greg

I think he means a 'checkweight' operation.

The sum of the individual items minus the tare weight of the box is a very specific weight.

If you weigh the box, you can quickly determine it is not 'full' or incorrectly filled if the weight doesn't match what it should.

There's some development work, but checkweight operation steps and machinery are very common in manufacturing and distribution, and the needed product information may already be there.

Is there a bill of lading with the shipment? I would presume so.

Mr. Fraley,

A few years ago we had a very similar request from a customer that manufactured and shipped concrete blocks. The shipments routinely showed up short, or claims of short with no proof. We did two things (of course these were tractor trailers). Video of the trailer beds from each side at a weigh station on the way out. The bill of lading got a time stamp from a device we provided. That device used the date/time stamp provided by the recording PC (windows based). We had video of the load, bill of lading with time/date generated by the video recorder. If they wanted to go back and view a disputed load, the date and time on the bill of lading gave them a reference for the video frames.

This was a few years ago before analytics, but it worked well. Even if the date/time was off, it still matched the bill of lading every time.

He always used colored bands to identify the number of blocks in a load - blue for 50, green for 100 etc. He could tell instantly how many blocks were on a truck. We just had to get him to the right video frame quickly.

Disclosure: I would be honored to be as smart as Brian. The purpose for the scale is exactly as described. Just because you got a box it doesn't mean it had what you thought was in it. Where in the process did it come up substituted or missing. Bar coding and taping the insertion into the box is step one. Then the "what ifs" start. What if just after that they removed the item? Using special tape? How valuable? How small? How controlled is the area? I've been in manufacturing a long time and on occasion we have had to rebuild an order and weigh it to see if it was what the shipper received in weight. Plus or minus a few pounds and box size. We did have times when the wrong part was sent and never would have fit in the package shown or was way under / over the weight. Not often enough to have a large concern, just a cost of doing business. But, we weren't shipping pharmaceuticals or gold! A bill of lading will show a weight but to what measurement level? So "what if?" It's small expensive items. I saw the mention of bricks/blocks and it may seem inconsequential but 50 or 100 makes for a great little side job. So finding a shipment with barcode tied to the video seems like a good step and might be the whole solution. I just mentioned the scale as a possible next step, maybe when loading the truck in front of the camera.

The reason I asked is purely for information not to question the use or purpose. I have actually had someone ask for that. The scales I was working with were much older. Is there/are there systems that can record the weight? I can see the input into the VMS; but the scale with the output is the part I have not researched. It would have to output the weight in text format (maybe/maybe not) and have some sort of USB or serial output from the scale. That is the harder part I would think.

Just to elaborate my customer runs a very small operation. They sell nutritional products like you would buy from GNC or The Vitaman store. The two adjacent rooms they ship from are about 400 sq ft each. Im guessing their max budget is about $10,000 for this. This seems really custom.

I know we're cctv guys and all but considering that the system is to be built from scratch as well as taking into account the size/budget of the operation I'm wondering if the VMS/bar code scanner solution is the best approach in this case.

Another method that may meet both the cost and functionality requirements would be to use a combination laser bar code scanner/megapixel camera unit to scan and decode and take a correlated snapshot of the outgoing shipment. These units can be be wireless and they upload to a PC where they can be searched by shipment info when necessary.

There are several out there, here are a couple to take a look at if you think its worth pursuing:

One is from xnapp, this one is from Ricoh:

Not sure what the price or availabilty are of these units. Just wanted to see what you thought of the general all-in-one concept first.

Disclosure: I would be honored to be as smart as Brian. The purpose for the scale is exactly as described. Just because you got a box it doesn't mean it had what you thought was in it. Where in the process did it come up substituted or missing. Bar coding and taping the insertion into the box is step one. Then the "what ifs" start. What if just after that they removed the item? Using special tape? How valuable? How small? How controlled is the area? I've been in manufacturing a long time and on occasion we have had to rebuild an order and weigh it to see if it was what the shipper received in weight. Plus or minus a few pounds and box size. We did have times when the wrong part was sent and never would have fit in the package shown or was way under / over the weight. Not often enough to have a large concern, just a cost of doing business. But, we weren't shipping pharmaceuticals or gold! A bill of lading will show a weight but to what measurement level? So "what if?" It's small expensive items. I saw the mention of bricks/blocks and it may seem inconsequential but 50 or 100 makes for a great little side job. So finding a shipment with barcode tied to the video seems like a good step and might be the whole solution. I just mentioned the scale as a possible next step, maybe when loading the truck in front of the camera. Now with a budget in mind I would just have cameras over each packing station, have them place the order in the FOV and a barcode scanner and label maker could certainly help. Handhelds that output RS232 are readily available and you can print a Code3of9 with any inkjet or laser printer. It's just a font. Start with a *then ASCII or Numeric*. The * represents START and END. They could search by that with a POS interface.

Hi Keith, this is exactly the solution which we offer Supply Chain clients. Have a look at our website link here http://www.geutebrueck.com/en_US/supply-chain-security-29144.html If this is what you are after, contact me directly please. US office contact details are available on the website.

Hello,

I took a look at your website but I dont see exactly what it is you offer. The concept sounds like exactly what I need but can this be done for less than $10,000?

-Keith

Could you please email me directly at charles.volschenk@geutebrucksecurity.com

Charles, This continues a long standing problem we have had with Geutebruck and why we cannot cover your company.

Like every other manufacturer, Geutebruck needs to be able to answer simple pricing questions with fair ranges of what the offering might cost.

Can you do that here?

John, I am willing to discuss the solution and our MSRP pricing on IPVM without problem. I simply didn't want to have a long string of sales correspondence on the forum. I thought that would be disrespectful to IPVM.

Our solution is a direct link via either TCP/IP or direct serial interface. Multiple brands are already integrated. And we can handle mobile scanners and assign the closest camera for transaction recording. In addition to using the normal VMS interface for data/scan item searches, we also integrate with ERP systems (such as SAP) and you can search associated video simply by clicking on the ERP transaction itself.

Finally, pricing depends on what has to be supplied. Our smallest VMS (including hardware and 10 IP camera connections) has an MSRP of $ 4600. The scan interface is also a licensed option with MSRP being $1750. This excludes camera prices. And please note we sell only via our certified dealers. There are no annual recurring license charges with Geutebruck.

Lastly, I would happily supply you with all our MSRP prices and more info on our solutions. Can I call you directly?

Thank you for the straight and compete answer. You can contact me a john@ipvm.com to speak further.