27 Dec Adv. Jonathan Cartu Says – Achieving Informed Insights into Wood Pallet Industry…
According to a market study, the Wood Pallet industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of roughly 5.7 percent over the next five years. The report predicts it to reach US$ 12900 million in 2024, from US$ 9230 million in 2019.
Reportedly, the MEA (the Middle East and Africa) market for wooden pallets generated a value of US$ 6.18 billion in the year 2018. Among countries in MEA, Saudi Arabia adopted novel technologies for waste recycling management and is planning to continue adopting new technologies in order to reproduce and recycle plastic products for material handling equipment and industrial handling equipment. The adopted technologies range from AI to automation and help accelerate the operations and functioning of the wood pallet industry.
Most significantly, computer vision is at the forefront of transforming the industry for better. According to Forbes, “Pallets transport goods throughout the world and are an integral part of the supply chain logistics industry. The European Federation of Wooden Pallet and Packaging Manufacturers (FEFPEB) reported that more than 3 billion wooden pallets are in circulation in the EU, while nearly 2 billion wooden pallets are used each day in the US. The majority of these pallets are owned by large pooling solution companies, which lease pallets from a shared pool, reducing the complexity of pallets procurement, management, and recovery for companies managing the supply chain of their products.”
What are Pallet pooling companies?
Pallet pooling companies manage pallets for their clients. Instead of buying their supply of pallets, they rent them from a shared pool. The pallet pooling company ensures that a supply of pallets in good repair and ready for use arrives at clients’ facilities when they need them.
Pooling solution companies are those who help monitor pallet movement throughout the supply chain in order to understand pallet losses and recovery, pallet damage and pallet cycle time.
Moreover, in an effort to perform comprehensive monitoring, each pallet could be labeled with a unique identifier or a tracking device. “If a pallet has a unique ID such as a barcode or a QR code, computer vision can be used to track the pallet as it flows through the supply chain. If a pallet is instrumented with a tracking device, it can be detected through computer vision for device replacement or maintenance as the pallet flows through the sortation process in a service center”, said Sandeep Bandil (Brambles), Vice President, IoT Edge Products and Solution, Los Altos, CA.
Explaining further he said that the pallets are made from a wide variety of wood, including beech, ash, poplar, pine and spruce and the type of wood the pallets are made from, forms the unique composition of wood tissue contours that provide insight into how strong and durable a single pallet can be and a unique identifier for a pallet that can be used for tracking. Also, the footprint of nails that fasten the wooden boards with blocks form a topology that can provide additional information about the pallet life cycle.
Contribution of Computer Vision
• Leveraging the well-trained computer vision models, the unique patterns of each pallet can be identified at birth which can be further managed as the pallet flows through its life cycle.
• The technology can also help in tracking changes to the wood patterns and structure as the pallet is damaged and repaired. It will also enable insights into pallet strength and durability. As suggested by Sandeep Bandil, such low-cost solution equips pallet companies to take action to filter unreliable pallets at birth or after repeated use.
• Also, the pallet logistics companies can achieve insights into the quantity and quality of damages by the customer and industry verticals to enhance the business model and improve the design to make the platforms more rugged.
• Computer vision can also contribute to maintaining an accurate inventory count of pallets in any warehouse and it can be applied to both worker safety and efficiency within the service centers where pallets are stored, inspected and repaired, beyond supply chain KPIs.
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