United Parcel Service to roll out Motorola digital scanners

United Parcel Service Inc. is deploying a new type of wearable scanner for employees designed to accelerate package loading and information visibility.

The new device, made by Motorola Solutions, consists of a hands-free imager that is worn on a finger and a small terminal worn on the employee’s wrist or hip.

The imager is a major advancement because it automatically scans based on label-sensing technology, allowing UPS employees to more quickly image barcodes compared to the current “point and shoot” method available with existing equipment, according to a news release.

The scans are key to providing the tracking data that feeds the 32.1 million tracking requests viewed daily on www.ups.com, the release said.

The scanner sends each package’s tracking information via Bluetooth to the terminal worn on the wrist or hip. The data is then transmitted via Wi-Fi to the UPS facility network and ultimately to UPS’s global data centers to be stored and processed for access by customers.

The imager also helps avoid service disruptions by verifying that a package is being loaded into the proper trailer or air container. An audible and visible alert identifies any package that’s about to be loaded incorrectly.

UPS began deploying the new system last year, and 28,000 ring imager and terminal devices are in use at 480 facilities. The deployment will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2013 with more than 38,000 ring imager and terminal devices in use at 1,383 facilities.

Atlanta-based UPS (NYSE: UPS) bases its UPS Airlines division in Louisville.

UPS’s Worldport facility in Louisville is a 5.2 million-square-foot sorting hub — its largest sorting facility. The facility can sort about 416,000 packages/documents per hour.

“UPS is always examining new ways to improve our delivery reliability and provide timely and accurate shipment information to our customers,” Juan Perez, UPS vice president of information services, said in the release. “Effectively deploying mobile and pervasive computing technologies like this allows us to achieve those goals, with higher performance, and a more rugged, longer- lasting piece of hardware.”
Business First