British airways has deployed unmanned aircraft at its air cargo operations to carry out stock checks

IAG cargo has been working closely with FlytBase to automate the air cargo inventory at the Madrid facility.

In one important business activity, inventory taking is an important business activity that consumes thousands of man-hours per year at IAG Cargo's branches in the UK, Spain and Ireland. Therefore, it is very important to increase such automatic counting methods, which are essential in the era of global e-commerce and same-day delivery. But doing it manually is impractical. This can be achieved by unmanned aircraft thanks to advances in intelligent automation software and in-house autonomous navigation using machine vision and AI/ML technology, which can be packaged in the form of FlytWare, the FlytBase solution for automatic in-flight inventory scanning.

FlytBase's partnership with IAG Cargo involves stakeholders in innovation, continuous improvement, warehouse operations, inventory management, digital conversion and business analysis. After prioritizing key requirements for aviation inventory, FlytWare carefully tested and tested by running dozens of indoor drone flights, automatically mapping scanned bar codes to their locations; Provide "ground truth" data, which is then filtered out of blank time slots, compared with WMS data, and analyzed for location accuracy.

Tested on IAG Cargo through a proof-of-concept trial and further refined in a pilot project, FlytWare is now ready for production deployment at multiple IAG Cargo facilities. The reality of inventory management is that each warehouse, distribution center, and air cargo facility is unique in storage configuration, key operating metrics, and cycle count frequency. Obviously, in the full pallets scanning a deeper, positive barcode is obvious than the case of VNA reserves calculation, scanning area of bulk stored in a pallet or enable automatic pallet/case "count" more depth reserve is much simpler, and then manually "a second counter", this is much more simple.

Nitin Gupta, CEO of FlytBase, explained: "Flytware's trial on IAG Cargo has successfully identified significant opportunities and key challenges for deploying fully automated uavs in warehouse shelf storage for inventory. Aviation inventory scanning not only provides a cost-effective high frequency cycle count, but can also significantly impact productivity and support regulatory reviews. The availability of real-time video sources and location-based image data, along with features such as precision landing and WMS integration, make FlytWare an attractive alternative to not only manual counting, but RFID, agvs and other expensive and hard-to-scale methods. Needless to say, we look forward to deploying FlytWare on IAG Cargo, which is a major advocate of aviation inventory taking."(credit: Soo56 express)