During COVID-19 more manufacturers have taken a close look at logistics fulfilment processes.
High SKU volume in warehouses with ten or more pickers are problematic because most equipment manufacturers fail to tailor the technology best-practices.
Equipment manufacturers may require an overall audit or assessment from layout to processes enhancing and optimizing productivity and efficiency.
Best-known for pick-by-vision glasses, it is the Picavi Cockpit technology real-time data that permits manufacturers to benchmark the warehouse and fulfilment processes.
Interfaced with manufacturers’ WMS (Warehouse Management System), it is simple to communicate with the worker on the shop floor via the smart glasses without returning to the home base.
The analytics monitor order changes in real-time and reduces inventory by eliminating bottlenecks and reducing work-in-process (WIP).
Warehouses Require Actionable Data
Leveraging the data that the smart glasses gather via sensors provide an array of actionable information.
Showing the warehouse manager data from the equipment distribution centre ensures transparency to individual KPIs (key performance indicators) in a dashboard.
The logistics manager has all the information right at hand versus spending hours digging into the WMS data.
Analytics also track screen times, determining where in the process the company is losing time. Think of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) for the warehouse.
“One-Scan-Setup makes it possible to add new smart glasses to a fleet. The MDM also enables wireless updates which can be installed over-the-air using the new software as well as an integrated the Screen Cast function.”
Specific KPIs such as picks per hour, picks per location, or an ABC analysis can be monitored in dashboards.
Johanna continues, “The smart glasses have a remote support function that uses push notifications to allow important messages to be shared between workers and the control room during operations in both visual and audio form.”
“The remote support function enables contactless, bi-directional, and individual communication in the warehouse.
“This allows staff in the control room to communicate directly with individual workers or a team of workers, regardless of their current location in the warehouse.
“This also makes it possible to share important messages during operations without drops in productivity.”
Manufacturing at the Lean Warehouse Level
“Determining opportunities for cost reduction inside the four walls must move beyond the engineering and production manufacturing plant floor,” says Johanna.
“Manufacturers must evaluate a warehouse slotting strategy and determine warehouse KPIs or metrics.
“Auditing and/or benchmarking warehouse costs, evaluating process cycle times, and value stream mapping (VSM) the existing warehouse processes are critical in fast turning equipment operations.”
A warehouse worker can put on a pair of AR-enabled glasses and use them to stay updated on delivery lists, inventory counts, and other priorities (versus having to use spreadsheets, mobile devices, or phone calls).
The same employee can receive directions from the glasses, which can guide him or her through the order picking processes in the fastest, most efficient manner.
“During busy times of the year, distribution centres can use AR-enabled glasses to get temp workforces up to speed and operating quickly, without the need for intensive on-the-job training,” says Johanna.
“Using pick-by-vision technology, where AR devices are used to highlight boxes or shelf locations to pick from, workers always know exactly where to look for specific items in the warehouse.”
Employee Safety with Pick-by-Vision
COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind and pick-by-vision ensures employees safety and avoids employee cross-contamination.
“Each distribution centre picker has their own set of glasses, at least for the shift, and no one else touches it,” explains Johanna.
“Compared to pick-to-light which has many different hands potentially cross-contaminating; the pick-by-vision solution is far safer.”
The glasses are the easiest device to disinfect since users can clean with a 0.5% detergent-water solution, such as natural detergent or mild dishwashing soap.
Alternatively, glasses may be cleaned using a 70-80% isopropyl alcohol to a clean also using a soft damp cloth to wipe down all surfaces.
“With voice picking solutions warehouses and distribution centres would have to exchange all the parts, many of which cannot be wiped down.
“Glasses need only be touched twice during a shift, creating a contactless and hands-free safe work environment.
“Since Picavi uses voice commands to control and interact with the glasses there is no additional need to touch the equipment.”
Manufacturing Matters Magazine thanks Johanna Bellenberg for her contribution.