Logistics is an area about which we discuss a lot as it is an area in constant transformation. What causes this transformation? Changes in technology flows, increased production or rapid evolution of e-commerce all cause the same result: logistics transformation. New technologies such as AR or IoT are set to transform logistics.
Augmented Reality (AR) Will Make Order Fulfillment Faster
Augmented Reality is top-notch 3D technology and a fantastic tool which can be used in a number of fields, among which Logistics. What benefits does AR bring to the table? First of all, in Logistics it’s compulsory that a product gets where it has to when it has to and the order fulfillment lead time is of the essence. AR can pose benefits for reception and picking processes.
DHL has successfully carried out a pilot project testing smart glasses and augmented reality in a warehouse in the Netherlands. The technology was used to implement “pick-by-vision” in warehousing operations. Staff was guided through the warehouse by graphics displayed on the smart glass to speed up the picking process and reduce errors. The pilot proved that augmented reality offers added value to logistics and resulted in a 25 percent efficiency increase during the picking process.
The Internet of Things (IoT) in Logistics
We speak more often and more intense (even in Romania) about the Internet of Things and about its benefits. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the successor of Big Data and represents the interactions between single smart devices interconnected via the current Internet infrastructure. Interconnecting these devices achieves automation in almost all fields and allows the development of complex applications.
Logistics companies were among the first to adopt mobile devices as a means to manage and monitor their processes. Initially the hand-held devices that delivery drivers used delivered benefits primarily by simplifying and automating existing processes.
Today we can connect not only hand-held devices or vehicles, but also containers, forklifts, container handlers, conveyor belts, carousels, automated storage and retrieval systems, sensors in dock doors. A connect pallet for example, can tell its owner the whereabouts and condition of their shipment. A connected truck can intelligently predict its own maintenance needs.
IoT will be successfully used for instance in inventory. As a result, logistics providers will be able to track inventory faster and more efficiently, which will reduce the amount of time required in this process.