Anyone who has ever been in a warehouse is familiar with the scene: employees grab the pistol scanner and acknowledge the storage or retrieval of a product. Hundreds of times a day. How convenient, you think. But it can get even more convenient. Namely when the annoying and time-consuming reaching for the scanner is eliminated by attaching the scanner as a wearable to the body or by integrating it into the clothing.
That’s exactly what the innovative idea of the Munich startup ProGlove was. The idea has become a reality in the form of a smart scanning glove. And this is precisely what DB Schenker introduced in its logistics center in Eching near Munich.
Up to 40% time savings through hand-free scanning.
ProGlove is a device for scanning barcodes in the picking process. The small, lightweight scanner attaches to a glove worn by staff in the warehouse. It enables hand-free scanning and provides visualized control through LEDs and vibration.
The scanner sits on the back of the hand and is activated by squeezing the thumb and forefinger together. After scanning a barcode, the employee immediately receives visual, acoustic and haptic feedback. In addition, the employee communicates information regarding quantities or the next picking location via tablet.
The advantages of the system have already been demonstrated in applications in the automotive industry, among others. The easy-to-use scanning glove saves up to 40% of time compared to conventional scanners. For the employees in the warehouse, it is particularly convenient that both hands are free during the picking process. The high ergonomics of the glove reduces the picking error rate and is ideal for high picking rates.
Successful implementation at DB Schenker in Eching
In its logistics center in Eching, DB Schenker is responsible for the production supply of a leading German car manufacturer with vehicle parts. The service portfolio includes central functions such as incoming and outgoing goods, the storage of vehicle parts and the handling of empties. At the location, however, value-added services are also offered, such as the repacking of disposable packaging into returnable packaging.
Compared with the usual ring scanners, ProGlove enables employees in the picking process to work faster, safer and, at the same time, easier. The scanning glove allows you to consistently deploy both hands, without the hassle of having to search for or grab a scanner. ProGlove significantly increases process efficiency.
The feedback from the warehouse staff in the trial phase was consistently positive as it greatly facilitates the work. The implementation of the ProGlove is supposed to lead to an increase in productivity at the Eching site. An extension to further warehouse locations is planned.
And Thomas Kirchner, managing director and co-founder of ProGlove, adds: “With ProGlove, people will continue to play a central role in industry in the future. That’s why we’ve developed a lightweight, intuitive glove that does not require any special training. ProGlove supports employees in their day-to-day business and makes them familiar with Industry 4.0.”
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Another building block for Logistics 4.0 at DB Schenker
The implementation of the ProGlove scanning glove is another example of the expansion of innovative digital logistics solutions at DB Schenker. In addition to the digitization of the supply chain through tools such as supply chain visibility platforms and technologies such as predictive analytics and decision support, it also includes efficient tools for the warehouse.
An example can be found in our blog article about the test operation of inventory multicopters.