Monday 5th Dec 2016 - Logistics Manager

Wearable tech ups picking productivity 25pc

DHL has completed a ‘vision picking’ pilot test, which use smart glasses to guide staff through warehouses speeding up the picking process and reducing errors, with results indicating a 25 per cent increase in efficiency on conventional picking using hand-held terminals.

The test was carried out at a warehouse in The Netherlands used by DHL customer Ricoh, with the smart glasses and augmented reality supplied by wearable computing solutions provider Ubimax.

During the three-week test, staff at the Bergen op Zoom warehouse were guided through the warehouse by graphics displayed on the smart glasses. The displays showed the task information during the picking process, including aisle, product location and quantity. Overall, ten order pickers used the equipment and picked more than 20,000 items, fulfilling 9,000 orders. DHL and Ricoh are jointly evaluating the roll-out of the solution.

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Jan-Willem De Jong, business unit director technology, DHL Supply Chain, Benelux, said: “Vision picking enables hands free order picking and greatly increases productivity. The technology significantly supports our staff and brings exciting value to our customers. However, this is just the first step in our innovation journey as we believe augmented reality will become relevant for even more supply chain areas.”