DHL Supply Chain increases use of smart glasses globally

Thursday, 23 May, 2019

DHL Supply Chain increases use of smart glasses globally

DHL Supply Chain has reported that it is expanding the deployment of smart glasses and wearables. DHL will now use the second-generation of Google’s Glass Enterprise Edition. The device can virtually support the vision picking process in warehouses.

Augmented reality in the warehouse is said to support a more accurate, productive and efficient picking process. While user-friendly and intuitive, hands-free picking is providing a positive experience and high approval rating among employees. The successful use of smart glasses in contract logistics has also convinced other DHL business units. In the future, DHL Express will also use these wearables in its hubs.

Smart glasses have been successfully piloted at DHL Supply Chain in early 2015 before making them a standard in today’s warehouse operations with DHL. Following test runs in the USA, Europe and the UK, the contract logistics company has rolled out this technology step by step over the past few years and is now using vision picking, a picking process supported with augmented reality, in most geographical regions.

DHL’s international delivery arm, DHL Express, is also using smart glasses at its freight hubs in Brussels and at Los Angeles Airport. Further deployments are planned at the US airports of New York, Cincinnati and Chicago.

“With the second generation of Glass Enterprise Edition, we can now provide our customers and employees with even more powerful, technically optimised smart glasses,” said Markus Voss, COO and CIO of DHL Supply Chain. “The possibility of object recognition is also particularly promising for us in industrial applications. With the corresponding software, it is no longer just possible to read out barcodes, locate products and display the corresponding storage compartment; in future, also complex objects can be identified with the smart glasses.”

“These glasses and other wearables such as ring scanners and smart watches are already being used commercially in many of our warehouses,” he continued. “These applications are only one part of a company-wide digitalisation strategy at DHL Supply Chain, which includes the use of robots, drones, autonomous vehicles and many other technologies.

“The operation is so intuitive, their hands are free to pick, and the visual support helps to locate the products really fast and sort them into the intended trolley boxes.”

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