Inside Logistics

Installation Inventory: Doubling vision

European electronics wholesaler will be expanding its use of smart glasses


Using the smart glasses for putaway will reduce errors and improve productivity.

September 13, 2018
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Electronics wholesaler, ECOMAL Europe GmbH, will be using more Picavi smart glasses at its European central warehouse in the southern Black Forest area from the third quarter of 2018 onwards. The company is expanding the pick-by-vision solution at its logistics centre in Kirchzarten from outbound picking to include inbound as well.

Previously the company had 10 sets of the glasses for picking outgoing goods –
now the glasses will be deployed to replenish inventory. ECOMAL is hoping to achieve a significant reduction in the error rate when putting items into storage by using the vision products in this area.

ECOMAL, which sells electronic components like resistors, semiconductor diodes and capacitors in 17 different countries in Europe, has been using the pick-by-vision solution since the late summer of 2017. Ten pairs of smart glasses are in use from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. and enable the warehouse specialists to pick items for dispatch from warehouse inventory that includes 2.5 billion items.

Inbound and outbound

“We’ve been able to achieve time savings of at least 20 percent by using the smart glasses for our multi-order picking system covering different products,” says Peter Kraus, logistics manager at ECOMAL. “As part of the ongoing digitization of our warehouse management procedures, we’ve purchased even more models to switch our incoming goods to the pick-by-vision technology too.”

Kraus said putaway mistakes had been causing some lengthy searches for misplaced items during the order fulfillment process. “This will now be a thing of the past with the Picavi smart glasses; they indicate where the correct putaway position is on the display and the relevant information is then stored in the warehouse management system.”

“ECOMAL is a clear example of how we can continue developing a partnership, which started in one area of a warehouse, into a different one. The strictly visual process controls of the pick-by-vision solution can be used for many activities in internal logistics in order to increase the precision of the work and make time savings when picking items,” says Johanna Bellenberg, director of marketing and communications at Picavi.

“Warehouse specialists can concentrate on the correct place for storing or removing the goods, particularly because they have their hands free. If they do make a mistake, the glasses provide information about this on the display and they can then correct the error immediately.”