DHL to roll out augmented reality for pickers

Pickers at DHL warehouses could soon be using ‘augmented reality’ to pick the goods instead of using clipboards and pieces of paper. DHL Supply Chain has announced that it has completed its global augmented reality pilots and is now planning to expand the ‘Vision Picking’ solution to more warehouses around the world.

The smart glasses worn by pickers show visual displays of order picking instructions as well as information on where those items are located. They also give information as to where the items need to be placed on a cart and together the information frees pickers’ hands of paper instructions and allows them to work more efficiently and comfortably.

DHL say that the international trials it has conducted have shown an average improvement in productivity of 15%, as well as greater accuracy rates. It has also cut onboarding and training times by half, meaning that staff can be brought to full productivity more quickly.

“Digitalization is not just a vision or program for us at DHL Supply Chain, it’s a reality for us and our customers, and is adding value to our operations on the ground. Customers have been very happy about the productivity gains and are equally excited about using innovative technology at their warehouses,” commented Markus Voss, Chief Information Officer & Chief Operating Officer, DHL Supply Chain.

The concept should interest companies that run fulfilment centres and warehouses around the world as a half step before fully replacing people with robots.

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