Pick-by-Vision with IGZ

Pick-by-Vision – for more efficient picking

In many cases, smart glasses are increasingly taking over in intralogistics. And for good reason – this technology is based on the Pick-by-Vision principle and can be optimally adapted to the respective user. It is intuitive to learn and use, enables hands-free working and – assuming acceptance by the warehouse staff – enhances overall productivity. Extended functionality in the area of warehousing is available in the form of a direct link to SAP EWM (SAP Extended Warehouse Management) with IGZ.

Integration of data glasses with SAP EWM

The data glasses allow hands-free and paperless working within warehouses.

An image containing relevant information for the user is generated by a microdisplay and projected into the user's field of vision. This allows the user to handle warehouse orders faster and more efficiently.

This solution can eliminate costs for expensive storage and production technologies, since the process is operated and controlled exclusively via the data glasses.

Operating principle

IGZ - Pick-by-Vision

The new data glasses are a highly capable multifunctional device that simplify operation for warehouse staff. In the picking area (pick-by-vision), jobs are shown in real time by SAP EWM directly in the user's field of view via a permanently installed microdisplay.

Using this online system, which is linked to the SAP EWM system in real time, the user always receives the current processing status of the current job and can therefore be assigned to process jobs in multiple storage areas and picking zones at any time.

For example, hand-held terminals were previously used for these processes, via which the employees were shown the next job to be processed on the display. In this procedure, the order picker's performance was limited due to the fact that they had to hold the device while entering data via the keypad.

The time that was previously required to scan and manually enter data into hand-held terminals has been greatly reduced via the switch to data glasses.

Thanks to the direct display of information in the user's field of vision, as well as face recognition and speech input or voice output, smart glasses enable users to work more efficiently and with greater flexibility.

Technology

  • State-of-the-art data glasses such as the Vuzix M300 or Epson Moverio BT-300
  • Direct connection to SAP without middleware
  • Connection to external devices such as ring scanners
  • Positioning sensors
  • Support for Windows and Android operating systems
  • WLAN 802.11b/g, Bluetooth
  • High-resolution camera with option to store images in SAP
  • High resolution and clear display of information
  • Interaction with glasses via voice, touch or scanner

Advantages

  • Greater flexibility in the warehouse via elimination of additional devices (such as hand-held terminals)
  • More efficient working via display of current jobs in the microdisplay
  • Elimination of expensive storage and production technologies
  • Use in different departments, storage areas and picking zones possible
  • Reduction of unproductive time via automatic scanning of warehouse tasks and individual work steps
  • Real-time connection to SAP EWM
  • Replaceable battery for trouble-free operation
  • Good user comfort due to the low overall weight of the data glasses (about 40g)

Application areas

  • Warehouses in which a high standard of work is required
  • Suitable for medium-sized product ranges with average data throughput
  • Can easily be used in demanding storage areas
  • Good user comfort due to the low overall weight of the data glasses (about 40g)

The fact is that "hands-free" technologies have been replacing the mobile data-entry terminals (MDEs) that have been in use for years – especially in the area of order picking and packing. Instead of having to deal with these cumbersome handhelds, all job-related information, such as the article type, storage location and quantity are transmitted directly to the employee via a permanently installed microdisplay. The integrated scanning functionality or optional voice recognition makes manual data entry unnecessary, which means the worker always has both hands free for the task at hand (hands-free) while receiving automatic step-by-step guidance through the picking process.

In the area of order picking, the Android app installed in the data glasses continuously communicates with SAP EWM (SAP Extended Warehouse Management). The previously used complex and manually designed processes can now be handled virtually intuitively, much faster and without errors thanks to look-guided scan functions for QR and barcodes, as well as powerful speech recognition features. Another advantage of this application is the integrated inventory function (low-stock check), which helps to ensure the best possible availability of goods that were recently picked.

The use of smart glasses unlocks potential that cannot be realised via traditional MDE management. The direct provision of visual information inside the user's field of vision significantly reduces the error rate. Picking performance increases and the mental effort associated with the work decreases. Via this online technology, which IGZ links directly to SAP EWM (SAP Extended Warehouse Management), the employee is also informed about the current processing status of each order. Another advantage of the Pick-by-Vision application is its seamless integration with a wide range of physical processes, thus reducing the required number of (mobile) devices in circulation. 

Besides job-related information, data glasses can also be used to transmit handling instructions for special or delicate goods as well as safety instructions for accident prevention.

The latter, for example, has a positive effect on forklift operation in the warehouse. These smart devices thus not only help drivers to load and unload pallets and other loading equipment, but also alert them as soon as people or other trucks cross their path. In addition, possible defects on the vehicle are visualised as well as suggestions for correcting them.

 

IGZ has already successfully implemented order picking with smart glasses and SAP EWM (SAP Extended Warehouse Management) for selected pilot customers. By using data glasses, users are now able to react flexibly at all times while working far more efficiently. Making this change ultimately enables companies to effectively pursue the goal of significantly improving the relevant value-creation processes through the use of digital technology. It also increases their ability to meet the demand for automation and networking in the context of Logistics 4.0 or Warehousing 4.0, whereby the focus is on achieving direct customer benefits.

However, integrated automation of all processes in the field of intralogistics is not economical in every case. Even at large companies that operate state-of-the-art central warehouses, the level of automation throughout their logistics facilities is sometimes lacking. In other words, manual operation is still necessary – however, this costs time and money and often results in a low level of accuracy. Pick-by-Vision with SAP EWM (SAP Extended Warehouse Management) and smart glasses precisely compensates for these deficits while ensuring a significant boost to efficiency as well as measurable throughput improvements during order processing.

This is of benefit not only to online retailers, but also to service providers and the manufacturing sector. Only information that is actually needed is sent to the respective employees. In this respect, the flood of data can be channelled and limited to the relevant content – thus mirroring the core tasks or goals of logistics: the right goods, at the right time, in the right place, in the right quantity and quality, and at the right cost.

Pick by Motion | IGZ

Use of AR-supported Smart Glasses for the visualization of, for example, picking instructions, assembly steps or also for remotely supported maintenance work.

Markus Wenning Sales SAP Solutions

SAP EWM
references

Key Facts

  • Integrated scan function
  • Operator direction via visual and auditory signals
  • Simple and flexible handling
  • Picking with real-time connection to the existing SAP warehouse management system
  • Significant cost savings for data glasses compared to conventional hand-held terminals
  • Optimisation of work steps via central warehouse management
  • Hands-free working within the warehouse