Voice system in Frigo Logistics Sp. z o.o. warehouses
Streamlining the storage logistics
Advantages of the implementation:
Frigo Logistics Sp. z o.o. is the enterprise dealing with frozen food logistics. It is one of the leading logistic operators of such products in Poland. It belongs to Nichirei Holding Holland B.V, a part of a Japanese corporation called Nichirei with its registered office in Tokyo. Frigo Logistics Sp. z o.o. has high bay warehouses at temperature of -23/-24°C in Żnin and Radomsko and a reloading point in Warsaw.
Frozen food logistics belongs to very specific industries. Food must be stored correctly starting from loading at the manufacturer’s, through storage, to delivery to the retailer. Working in freezer rooms is very demanding both for people and for devices.
Goods picking with a paper document is ineffective. Working with devices having a touch panel is also out of the question as the employees must wear thick gloves when doing all activities at such temperatures. Working with radio terminals having keyboards was partially successful, but that was not an optimum solution. The terminal batteries discharged fast.
Having spend 20 minutes in the freezer room, the warehouse worker must go to a warmer room for a while and then moisture condenses on the terminal immediately having an adverse impact on the device usefull life, including its electronic components. What is more, the terminal display is covered with frost when the employee returns to the freezer room. Operating a scanner, the warehouseman has his hands and “head” full, and unnecessarily uses his concentration, wondering where to put the terminal so that it does not fall off and damage, and finally free his hands and be able to pick the appropriate goods.
What is more, using the voice system has a positive impact on the quality control process. The control runs much faster, we record fewer mistakes. Work efficiency grew by ca. 20–30% depending on the product type which translates into measurable financial benefits.
In 2011, Frigo Logistics decided to improve the picking process. The optimum solution, proven in the sister company in France, turned out to be the voice system Vocollect. Its implementation was commissioned to SKK and Quantum.
SKK delivered 60 sets of voice terminals and its own software, the task of which is to process data from warehouse management software (WMS) into individual subsequent activities to be performed. The software is also responsible for the way of communication between the operator and the voice system.
The set consists of a terminal attached to the belt, software generating speech in Polish and headphones with a microphone attached to the helmet.
Having logged into the WMS, the operator receives a pallet allocated to him for picking to the terminal. Next, the warehouse management software sends the individual items to be picked to the voice terminal. The voice system software “translates” them into Polish and tells the operator which location to go. Having arrived at the indicated location, the warehouse worker confirms (with a agreed command) his readiness to pick the goods. The voice from the terminal provides the information on the product and the quantity to be picked. In response, the employee confirms the actual picked amounts, with control in relation to the ordered quantity, both in plus and minus. The operation is carried out repeatedly until all pallet items are picked. The last task is to deliver the pallet to the relevant intermediate storage area and attach a logistic label. At any time, the employee has a number of keywords at his disposal that allow him to query the device with respect to important information.
Frigo Logistics is satisfied with the cooperation with SKK, implemented innovations and considers the possibility of handling other processes using a voice system.
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