Exploring new technologies through our W² Labs programme

Machine vision has been advancing rapidly in recent years and has the potential to transform logistics. We spoke with Claire Charlton, Wincanton’s head of W² Innovation, to find out more.


Machine vision

For those new to machine vision, put simply, it’s the ability of machines to see. This means they are able to perceive, understand and analyse images and videos. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) that enables machines to perform tasks that require visual recognition, such as identifying objects, counting items, reading labels, or detecting defects.  

This can have tremendous benefits across logistics. By integrating machine vision, logistics operations can drive overall performance improvements, by helping to automate and enhance processes, enhance predictive capabilities using real time data, and improve safety and security of people and assets.

AI and machine vision is a topic that Wincanton was very interested in exploring through our W² labs programme, Claire Charlton Head of W² explains : 

“We had around 100 applications to our labs programme in this year across the 3 categories of Robotics, Digital Transport and Security & Resilience. There is a lot of hype around AI at the moment, so in our selection process we were particularly looking for practical uses of AI that would add value to our operations and provide a tangible benefit to our customers. Clearquote, Graymatics and Powerhouse AI all stood out from the other pitches as they really focused on relevant use cases and realistic applications for Wincanton.”

We spoke with our W² Cohort 5 who are innovating in this area and some of our Wincanton experts to find out more...


ClearQuote were selected in our Digital Transport category, As Venkat Sreeram, CEO explained :

ClearQuote is an AI-powered vehicle inspection app. It enables guided image capture and automatic damage detection and generates alerts in case of new damage. Our technology enables logistics providers to eliminate unreported damage, proactively reduce damage costs, and make vehicle handovers transparent.”  

Clearquote started their journey with passenger vehicles and through the W² Labs process and Venkat is keen to baseline their existing solution with HGV specific data, collect additional data to improve the AI models and to better understand fleet manager’s requirements for HGVs to inform their product roadmap. 

Powerhouse AI

Powerhouse AI were selected in our robotics category. Henrik Bergsager, head of business development shared how Powerehouse AI have developed a groundbreaking AI-assisted scanner to transform warehouse management. The scanner is designed to understand information as humans do and make images actionable, minimising human error and maximising accuracy with high efficiency. 

Henrik said :   

“Programmes like the are extremely important for developing ideas. They provide invaluable support through mentorship, resources, and industry connections that can significantly accelerate the growth and refinement of a product.” 


Graymatics were selected in the security and resilience category. We spoke to Abhijit Shanbhag, president & CEO, who explained that the Graymatics solution uses AI to turn passive cameras into active IoT to provide customized real-time video analytics, and alerts on events. The solution draws critical insights from dashboards to enhance the security, productivity, and efficiency of logistics operations.  

Graymatics are looking forward to working with Wincanton to develop new ways to enhance safety standards through using AI to analyse real time live feeds from security cameras, immediately detecting any hazardous situations that may result in injury, and sending real-time alerts to enable proactive intervention.  

In addition to our explorations through the W² Labs programme, Wincanton has been exploiting the potential of machine vision in our robotics implementations.  

 “The rise of machine vision is a game-changer for warehouse automation. This technology is bringing about a new era of intelligent operations, with robots empowered with sight working smarter, accurate and faster than ever before. From receiving new inventory to loading trucks for shipment, machine vision is supercharging automation across the entire warehouse operation.”  

Pradeep Gopakumar, Head of Solutions – Robotics and Automation, Wincanton 

Innovative solutions

Through its involvement in the Department for Transport Freight Innovation Fund, Wincanton is also providing an operational test bed for AI Automation specialising in camera inspection and robotic applications. We spoke to Grant Mullen, Managing Director who said

“The adoption of 3D guided vision in robotics for palletising has the potential to revolutionise the efficiency and accuracy of material handling processes in various industries. This advanced technology enables robots to perceive and interpret their environment in three dimensions, allowing for precise detection and manipulation of objects.” 

“With 3D vision, robots can identify the size, shape, and position of items, optimising the stacking and organisation on pallets. This innovation promises to reduce human error, enhance safety, and significantly speed up operations by automating complex tasks that previously required manual intervention. Additionally, 3D guided vision systems can adapt to a variety of shapes and sizes, making them versatile solutions for dynamic and demanding industrial environments. The integration of this technology has the potential to not only improve productivity but also offer significant cost savings and operational flexibility.” 

Machine vision and AI are transforming the world of logistics, enabling new levels of efficiency, accuracy, and flexibility. By exploring and applying these technologies Wincanton and its partners are creating innovative solutions to shape the supply chain of the future for our customers.  


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