Arvato’s Packing Table Scale and Overhead Camera Confirm Order and Packaging Contents

Arvato handles B2B logistics for Fujifilm cameras and accessories, offering new technology for greater transparency and more secure processes in the warehouse.

Arvato, Bertelsmann, Duren

Guetersloh – As part of its B2B logistics services, Arvato is focusing its packaging process across Europe on camera technology for the first time to further increase the already high process reliability in the supply chain. To do so, cameras installed above the packing stations document whether each shipment is complete and contains the right contents in the right packaging.

In the Arvato system, a digital weighing scale is integrated into the packing table. The system determines the expected weight base with the actual weight. If a deviation of x% occurs, a message appears and the packing box must be reviewed for order accuracy. At the same time, the packing process is filmed with the overhead camera. There is no automatic analysis, Arvato explains. The videos are only used in case of deviations to check whether and how the materials have been packed in the shipping box.

“We’ve already put this in place for packages and are currently working on a pallet-level solution,” says Thomas Becker, Executive Vice President Hightech & Entertainment at Arvato SCM Solutions. “The primary advantages include traceability and identifying sources of error. This cuts down on costs and helps us when dealing with possible customer complaints.”

The consumer electronics industry’s interest in the ongoing optimization of the security measures in the supply chain is high. “As a manufacturer of premium cameras, security is our top priority,” confirms Christopher Brawley, Managing Director for Fujifilm Electronic Imaging Europe GmbH. This is largely due to the value of the goods; for example, the sales price of the newly launched medium-format GFX 50S runs several thousand euros. “There is no general solution that is right for every industry and every customer. Instead, we are convinced that every process step can be improved through new and innovative solutions to guarantee a secure supply chain overall and a corresponding added value for our customers,” says Alexander Jeske, who is responsible for innovation management in the Hightech & Entertainment division at Arvato SCM Solutions. This is an approach that is entirely in the spirit of Fujifilm.

Arvato runs the European central hub in Düren in North RhineWestphalia and is responsible for all B2B logistics for the world’s largest photography and imaging company. In addition to warehousing, order picking, shipment packaging and transport management, the services Arvato provides in part of the 75,000 m2 logistics center today include the procurement of materials as well as numerous value-added services. The fulfillment services further include postponement activities, such as assembling sets, repackaging and bundling goods as well as “countrymizing,” which means applying country-specific product characteristics.

“Security has always been the focus of all our services ever since we started working together ten years ago,” emphasizes Thomas Becker. Fittingly, Arvato’s Düren location holds a TAPA certification (Transport Asset Protection Association) for high-quality products and focuses on automation and innovation in the supply chain. This means that all incoming shipments with Fujifilm products, including high-quality cameras, lenses and other photography accessories, are checked for completeness by an automated weight and volume control system. This prevents more than just stock differences since the geodata registration also serves as the basis for each additional control action along the supply chain. According to Thomas Becker, “This seamless transparency and control enable us to prevent damages and losses along the supply chain and to document shortfalls with our suppliers.”

In addition to the camera documentation system now in place as part of the packaging process, Arvato is currently reviewing additional measures related to its innovation activities to further increase security in the supply chain. These include applications to create complete transparency in last mile delivery and solutions to localize high-quality goods in the distribution process in close to real time. Thomas Becker says, “We work in close cooperation with our partner, Fujifilm, on each and every measure since the technology used must always meet the customer’s individual requirements.” For more information visit www.scm.arvato.com.