Vision Picking: An Important Step in Digitizing Order Picking Processes

2019 Gas and Power Europe PDF

Initial Situation

Siemens Gas and Power is a global pioneer in the energy sector that addresses the constantly developing requirements of industry and society together with its customers. With its products, solutions, and services Siemens Gas and Power focuses on the production, processing and transportation of oil and gas as well as power generation in thermal power plants and power transmission. The service organization of Gas and Power operates a logistics center South of Berlin for spare parts needed for gas turbines manufactured in Berlin. Customers in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East are serviced from this logistics center.

In the course of changing energy markets, customer requirements also change. This includes:

  • a shortening of delivery times from the warehouse to the customer, which requires a continuous digital process (paperless warehouse)
  • automated provision of information in digital form, e.g. photos of spare parts for import customs authorities

Business Challenge

For documentation purposes both for customers and import customs authorities, spare parts are photographed during the picking process. Previously, the photos had to be assigned to the corresponding order manually, which meant that the process was slowed down. Barcodes are furthermore scanned with an external hand scanner. By constantly picking up and putting away the scanner, the process is additionally delayed.

The innovation pilot project aimed to digitize the picking process. Through the visualization of the shelves and spare parts, an extra increase in efficiency was to be achieved.

Ubimax Solution

The xPick solution from Ubimax projects all context-relevant information of the picking order directly into the employee's field of vision using smart glasses. Siemens used the Vuzix M300 in combination with the Hyco W26 scanner, a wireless ring scanner.

The intuitive user interface graphically depicted the shelf structures allowing employees to easily see where each part was to be picked. The particularly handy ring scanners replaced the bulky predecessors, which simplified and accelerated the workflow for order pickers.

The documentation of the individual products was easily integrated into the process and carried out via smart glasses: The photos were automatically assigned to the corresponding order, eliminating the additional step of the subsequent assignment.

Convincing Benefits

The entire process could be accelerated by automating the documentation process by taking photos with smart glasses. There was no need for additional manual photographing. By replacing the bulky scanners and leaving both hands free for the actual task, the picking process was ergonomically improved.

In addition, the correct items could be found and assigned more quickly because the storage locations were visualized with the help of smart glasses. This also made it easier to train new employees. The existing voice control enabled a smoother overall process.

Automatic Documentation

>10% Faster

Hands Free Work

Involved Partners

Used Hardware

Vuzix M300XL
Hyco W26 Scanner