Code Powers Game-Changing Drive-Through Barcode Scanning

Invisium’s VisionPort Optimizes Operations with Code’s CortexDecoder SDK

Motorists associate drive-through restaurants with speed and convenience. Now, thanks to Invisium GmbH and Code Corporation’s CortexDecoder® Software Development Kit (SDK), logistics managers associate drive-throughs with efficiency and economy.

Pallets are wheeled through the world’s only drive-through barcode scanner.
VisionPort, the market's only multifunction drive-through barcode scanner, is powered by Code's CortexDecoder SDK.

Customers receive chips, tacos and a drink within four minutes of ordering at North America’s fastest drive-through. Although swift, it pales compared to VisionPort, Invisium’s flagship machine. VisionPort, the only multifunction drive-through barcode scanner, captures and reads over 300 1D and 2D barcode symbologies in seconds for real-time evaluation and reporting. Moreover, it scans barcodes speeding through at nearly eight KM/H (4.9 MPH) with a 99% identification rate.

"On the fly, we are digitizing goods transported on a pallet," explains Stefan Zweigler, Invisium’s founder and CEO. "VisionPort uses a dozen cameras to produce hundreds of pictures and applies AI and traditional machine-vision algorithms to detect, identify and analyze transported goods in seconds."

The Challenge: Tracking Pallets and Load Carriers

Each day, some 695 million European Pallet Association steel mesh boxes, pallets and small load carriers — such as fruit crates — tote freight globally. Firms recirculate these by stacking empties for exchange with inbound, loaded units.

"Despite their importance, tracking carriers relied on associates manually stopping and recording outbound carriers," Zweigler shares. "It was stressful, time-consuming and error-prone."

Zweigler says under-digitized operations turned load carriers — logistics’ smallest components — into a huge problem. It also created a forklift-sized hole in the market for the Germany-based software startup.

The Solution: CortexDecoder’s High-Performance Decoding

At first blush, Invisium’s VisionPort resembles a basic airport security scanner. Looking closer reveals leading-edge technology, including Code’s embedded CortexDecoder SDK, several 2D and 3D cameras, laser, lidar, sensors and three edge computers.

On-unit HMI provides real-time reporting on shipments and freight.
VisionPort uses machine-vision algorithms, AI and CortexDecoder to decode hundreds of barcodes at once and report on pallets used and freight quality via HMI.

AI and machine-vision algorithms synchronize these components to record and analyze carriers and freight passing through. VisionPort detects anomalies, e.g., missing and marred barcodes, to create new ones for non-readable counts. The portal then issues status reports; here’s how:

  1. Up to 350 load carriers are stacked on a pallet and carted through the scan portal.
  2. CortexDecoder decodes the 1D and 2D symbologies on these items within 30 milliseconds.
  3. A 40A light and cameras capture images almost instantly.
  4. Onboard computers calculate in parallel to recognize sizes, patterns, logos and fonts while measuring distances.
  5. Via frame-mounted HMI, VisionPort highlights damaged items and barcodes requiring replacement; it also compares freight against transport lists.

To validate performance, Invisium partnered with Netto-Marken-Discount, Germany’s third-largest discount retailer. Netto’s central warehouse helps stock the beloved retailer’s 4,200+ stores, making it the perfect proving ground. Early in the six-month pilot program, VisionPort’s industrial-focused barcode reader and software consistently underperformed, leading to CortexDecoder.

"Because 350 load carriers on a pallet must each be identified via 2D barcode, it was clear: we need speed," he recalls. "Before Code, decoding time repeatability was unsatisfying."

Invisium validated CortexDecoder’s ability to zero in on each barcode’s region of interest and decode within 30 milliseconds. For comparison, eyes typically blink within 100-400 milliseconds. The SDK achieved this despite workers approaching VisionPort at varying angles and speeds.

"What’s more, CortexDecoder scanned barcodes on well-used carriers through three layers of plastic overwrap," he recalls. "That was critical because some symbologies were damaged or partially obscured, and our cloud-based software needs tremendous accuracy to complete these patterns or create new ones."

CortexDecoder’s precision became fundamental in creating a new breed of smart logistics solutions.

"VisionPort’s multi-camera systems, Code’s SDK, the Internet of Things, and lessons from Industry 4.0 let our scan portal learn something new daily," Zweigler beams.

A forklift moves cargo and pallets through the VisionPort Scan Portal.
The scan portal performs quality checks and compares data logs to validate shipments.

To that end, VisionPort can:

  • Automatically inspect incoming/outgoing goods
  • Perform end-of-line checks
  • Analyze stored images and data to identify damaged or incomplete shipments

The Outcome: A 2024 Top Innovation

Following success with Netto, inVISION, a top visiontech authority, created continent-wide buzz by naming VisionPort the market’s smartest solution.

Invisium has requests from material handlers and process manufacturers that use specialized containers for metal and chemicals. Fortunately, the modular VisionPort adapts to any facility, and its Code-powered data capture ensures it will excel in upcoming ruggedized, conveyor-compatible and trailer-ready miniaturized variants.

In 1947, Red’s Giant Hamburg built the first drive-through restaurant in Missouri, USA, forever changing mealtime.

"Nearly 80 years later, we’ve perfected the recipe to do the same for logistics and warehousing," Zweigler concludes.

Capitalizing on data in your logistics center or warehouse starts with contacting Invisium. Leveraging high-performance data capture for your segment-changing idea begins by contacting Code. Our data capture experts will help you find the perfect fit for your product, process or project.

Works Cited

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