Feb. 4, 2008
Skan-Free is the first automated mobile data collection system not requiring the use of RFID tags. Using image processing technology to read bar codes

Skan-Free is the first automated mobile data collection system not requiring the use of RFID tags. Using image processing technology to read bar codes without manual bar code scanners, Skan-Free removes data collection tasks from forklift drivers enabling them to focus on materials handling tasks and eliminating the possibility of human error in data collection while improving facility productivity and safety.

New Castle, Delaware - Sky-Trax, Inc. is pleased to announce the product release of Skan-FreeTM, the first mobile automatic data collection system powered by image processing technology. Without the use of hand held bar code scanners, clip boards or data entry terminals; Skan-Free is the solution for accurate and complete data collection. Intended to be an alternative to RFID systems used for pallet identification and data collection; Skan-Free is the answer for automated mobile data collection that the industry has been asking for.

"Our Skan-Free technology is proven, practical, and easy to deploy," said Larry Mahan, Sky-Trax President and COO. "Skan-Free brings tremendous improvements to any materials tracking operation in warehouses, DCs, and industrial facilities by eliminating manual data collection tasks for forklift drivers and the data tracking errors that result. In this way Skan-Free delivers more accurate data enabling WMS and ERP software to be more effective and reducing disruptions and errors in operations. Beyond this, Skan-Free increases the efficiency and productivity of your drivers and makes their job safer. With Skan-Free drivers will not have to get off or lean out of the forklift to scan a pallet or rack identification label. Skan-Free allows drivers to stay in the vehicle cab at all times eliminating the potential hazards of drivers dismounting their vehicles in any way."

"One of the key benefits is the ability to use ordinary printed bar code labels to ID pallets, instead of the expensive RFID tags. The Skan-Free sensor can read a bar code in any orientation placed anywhere on the face of a pallet load so that precise label placement is not required as with RFID readers," Mahan added.

The core component of the Skan-Free system is the Optical Label Reader (OLR) that is mounted to the front of any forklift. The OLR then finds and decodes linear or 2D barcodes in its field of view. After decoding a particular label, the OLR reads the pallet or rack location ID label as a pallet is being picked or put back in a rack location. The decoded bar code information is output to an on-board computer or wireless radio for collection and processing.

For customers desiring a complete packaged solution, Sky-Trax provides the Sky-Box™, a ruggedized mobile integration platform providing a Windows XP processor, WiFi 802.11 radio, sensor integration ports and electronics-grade power to create an on-board mobile network for "plug and play" integration of the Skan-Free system solution.

"We have removed the human element from data collection, creating a completely automated mobile data collection system," said Mahan. "With Skan-Free our customers now have the ability to collect consistently accurate data without the use of manual data collection tools and RFID technology. Automatic data collection will deliver 15 - 45 seconds of direct productivity improvement per transaction for a forklift driver; but even greater productivity gains result from avoiding the disruptions caused by bad or missing inventory data."

To date, Skan-Free has been through several pilot installations and is living up to its expectations. Early reports from one pilot show an expected 30 percent productivity improvement.

For more information about Skan-Free, please visit us online at: or contact a Sky-Trax representative 866-927-4927.