Augmented Reality Spotlight
Why is AR in a Warehouse a great idea?
The AR Warehouse is a great way to solve common problems in warehouse logistics: Inaccurate inventory levels, products that can’t be found, or the question of where to place a product once it’s found. These are all obstacles where employees can make numerous mistakes. Unlike the paper-based management system, Augmented Reality promises speed, accuracy and freedom from errors.
The current problems in warehouse logistics
In most companies, warehouse management is based on an outdated, paper-based system. As this system is already established, the transition to an automated warehouse system appears to be a complex and expensive process.
- Currently, there is a high time cost due to the existing system.
- Due to the current warehousing system, orders are repeatedly put together incorrectly.
- The outdated system requires additional time and money.
- Organizing the high number of returns is not always possible.
- The problems with labeling distract employees and slow them down, causing additional errors.
How to AR use in a warehouse
The AR Warehouse holds different methods. The most popular ones currently include pick-by-vision, pick-by-voice, pick-by-label, and pick-by-light. Alternatively, the Augmented Reality Introduction of Radiofrequency can be considered for smaller warehouses. These systems are currently less expensive than other approaches. Nevertheless, Frontline and xPick are considered particularly forward-looking technology for the AR Warehouse.
Radio Frequency Picking Process
RF picking is basically a paperless warehouse management system. For it to work, a special radio frequency network is required within the warehouse. All information related to an order is stored on the host server and passed on to local terminals. In addition, order pickers are equipped with terminals as wearables. The following functions are possible with this technology:
- Operators remain constantly informed about orders on hand.
- The terminal displays which items are required in which quantities.
- It is possible to scan barcodes or RFID labels.
- Information about the status is transmitted directly to the host server.
The advantage of this technology is that it eliminates the need to carefully study paperwork. Instead, the information is always present and can be transmitted directly. The goal of this picking is to speed up the process and significantly reduce the error rate.
The time required in the warehouse is an important key to the efficiency of the process at hand. To ensure that the picking process is as fast as possible, vision technology offers a high level of transparency. This challenge can therefore be met with the AR solution. For this purpose, the four main stages of the AR Warehouse are used:
- With the help of Frontline, video calls can be received directly in the warehouse, for example, if there is a need for clarification.
- The AR smart glasses provide the user with detailed information about the environment and show where the required item is located.
- Once the picker has found the product, he captures and scans it. This makes it easy to identify. At the same time, all the necessary information about where to place it appears on the glasses.
- The system regularly requests certain content, which it shows to the user. This information appears as an integral image in the physical environment, allowing proper coordination in the AR Warehouse.
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The Benefits of Augmented Reality in Warehouses
The approach of Augmented Reality in Warehouse prepares picking for the future. In this context, the AR Warehouse offers special advantages that are clearly noticeable in warehouse management:
- There is no need to log in to the personal user account. Instead, each operator receives exactly the order or job that is intended for him.
- The system in the AR Warehouse independently selects the orders that provide an optimal route for the employee.
- In addition, personal operating routes are possible to optimize movement within the warehouse. This makes the collection of individual orders much faster.
- The Augmented Reality Applications for Warehouse Logistics show the user which zone to move to. This minimizes the possibility of making mistakes.
- The display of additional tips, for example as text or images, makes it easier to select the desired items in the required quantities.
- Once the selection is confirmed by the user, he or she receives detailed information on where to place the particular item.
- The entire AR Warehouse process is designed to make user errors nearly impossible.
- Barcode reading and the voice confirmation system can be used permanently via the AR smart glasses.
- Administrators also benefit from the simple and convenient handling in the AR Warehouse.
Conclusion – AR in Warehouses will transform the future of logistics
AR Logistics is a modern technology that enables a global transformation in the logistics industry. That is why many companies have already decided to develop their own AR warehouse management solutions. They all make it possible to make picking processes faster, error-free, more effective and user-friendly. Although AR Warehouse technology is not yet fully mature, the results are impressive. Finally, AR Warehouse offers the possibility to tailor the individual solutions to one’s own warehouse operation.