KNAPP, the automated handling systems provider, has enjoyed considerable success in implementing voice-directed picking solutions for clients in diverse sectors across Europe.
The Austrian-owned group has delivered a number of voice-directed picking (VDP) systems recently, including solutions for the home entertainment products supplier, Handleman UK Ltd; the veterinary products supplier, Centaur Services Ltd; the Portuguese pharmaceutical company, Cooprofar; the German food wholesaler, Kaisers Tengelmann; and the German electronic accessories supplier, Vivanco.
Picking performance improved by up to 35%
KNAPP has developed its own sophisticated VDP software, called KISoft Flexible Picking. Each picker is equipped with a headset with an integrated microphone, transmitter and receiver so that both hands are kept free for order picking. The system has the facility to use several different languages simultaneously, which allows clients to integrate non-mother-tongue workers seamlessly into the workflow. The system which requires minimal training features flexible staff management and dynamic zone management, as well as customizable system architecture. With no need for high-speed printers and paper pick lists, VDP saves costs and is environmentally friendly. Other key benefits are highly efficient picking operations, precise inventory control and accurate lot identification. VDP solutions show an increase in picking performance over paper picking (up to 35%) and also handheld scanner operations (up to 15%).
Clients are enjoying rapid returns on investment usually under one year and are generally surprised at the ease with which the VDP solutions are implemented. Commented Celso Silva, Managing Director of the Portuguese pharmaceutical company, Cooprofar, "I was extremely and positively surprised that the whole project was realized in such a short space of time. System start-up, training and assisted operation required only four and a half days; on the third day, we were already working with real orders. The company commissioned KNAPP to install two KISoft Flexible Picking systems, each with 9 Talkman terminals, to operate at the companys warehouses in Aveiro and Guarda, with both receiving data from the host system at Cooprofars headquarters in Porto.
The VDP solution supplied by KNAPP to Handleman UK Ltd was installed as part of an 8 million handling solution for the companys 275,000 sq ft automated distribution centre in Bolton, which supplies Tesco stores throughout the UK with CDs, DVDs and games. In addition to the 35 VDP terminals, the integrated order picking system features extensive floor-mounted and overhead conveyor systems, a cross-belt sorter, an Order Storage and Retrieval (OSR) system, A-Frames and end-of-line carton processing.
Centaur Services Ltd the veterinary products supplier based in Castle Cary, Somerset also ordered a VDP solution from KNAPP. As well as the 15 VDP terminals, KNAPPs scope of supply included a tote-based conveyor picking system, A-frame autopickers and pick-by-light technology.
About KNAPP UK Ltd
KNAPP UK Ltd designs, supplies and maintains automated logistics systems and software. The company specialises in order fulfilment solutions featuring intelligent conveyor systems, sorters, A-frames, mini-cranes and handling robots. Paperless picking including RF picking, pick-by-light and voice-directed picking is a particular specialism and integration of handling equipment and software is a key strength of all KNAPP solutions. The company offers its own powerful WMS and also integrates its logistics equipment with WMS products from other suppliers. KNAPP UK Ltd is a subsidiary of KNAPP AG headquartered in Graz, Austria and the group is active in all the main European markets as well as in North and South America.
The group has a turnover of some 200 million Euros and employs 1,300 people worldwide. During the last 10 years, the group has supplied over 600 handling installations for more than 300 customers around the globe including Clarks Shoes, Avon, Tiffany, QVC, TEN, Ocado, Office Depot, British Gas, Muller, Siemens, LOral, Sony, Unichem, Wella and Yves Rocher.