GLOBAL WAREHOUSING WEARABLES MARKET
The development of innovative information and communication technologies (ICT) and their implementation can contribute to greater efficiency of all logistic process elements.
The Global Market initiative of Industry 4.0 concept is focused on the implementation of ICT or Integrated Computerized Technologies in logistic processes. Specific elements (warehouse, human, information) can be implemented in a smart environment for efficient conduction of logistic processes.
Warehouse management is one of the key elements in logistic processes and Smart Warehouse Management System (WMS) has different functionalities, depending on the warehouse functionalities. One of the most important segments of the system process for warehouse management requirements is to reduce the time that packages/pallets/products spend in the warehouse.
From smartwatches and glasses to biometric clothing, wearables offer great potential in the supply chain as they enable workers to access information, identify tasks and make their jobs easier and safer. The benefits make it no surprise that 70% of facilities will adopt wearables in the next five years to help employees increase efficiency, reduce errors, and improve performance.
The key element of importance within these is the communication can be improved through smart glasses or voice command devices. Step-by-step manufacturing instructions can be transmitted visually through smart glasses, while two-way audio headsets can give users real-time notifications pertinent to their activities on the floor.
Productivity increases from wearable voice command tools can increase factory warehouse efficiencies up to 30 percent, according to vendors of the technology. Other wearables can monitor health and stress levels of employees through fitness trackers, while GPS and beacon technology can easily locate employees and prevent them from entering a dangerous zone, such as machine cages and boilers.
WAREHOUSING WEARABLES MARKET DYNAMICS
Today’s warehouse workers face a number of challenges, including the demand for high speed mobile communication devices in-house and on the road. As larger facilities and bigger spaces are constructed, and customers demand personalization has integrated upon the required amounts of improvisation in the platforms-based implementations.
The rapid growth of web-based technologies, social networking, and mobile platforms in particular is creating a fundamental shift in the way business gets done. Investing in technologies that increase inventory turns, and the efficiency of receiving, stocking, picking, and shipping will increase. Specifically, investing in mobile technologies is continuing to rise as a significant impact on operations.
Today, the warehouse operations integrate the Warehouse Management System (WMS) with the Yard Management System (YMS), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Transportation Management System. This linkage could help remove inefficient information silos and promote recognition and collaboration across the entire warehousing process.
Solutions such as barcode scanners allow logistics workers to quickly scan barcodes without picking up packages. This allows for a faster, more ergonomic process. In addition, scanner-enabled wearables allow employees to automatically send reports to management that would otherwise have to be manually typed in.
In 2011, UPS gave international supply chain workers scanner-enabled rings. The electronic device increases the efficiency of transferring packages between facilities. It sends the data to a terminal worn on the worker’s hip. Then the package information travels via Wi-Fi to a UPS data centre.
WAREHOUSING WEARABLES MARKET SEGMENTATION
The Global Market of Warehouse Wearables can be segmented into following categories for further analysis.
By Product Wearability
- Hand / Wrist Application Based
- Eyewear Application based
- Foot and Leg Application Based
- Body Application Based
- Automated Warehouse Connectivity Based
By in Product Connectivity Type
- Wireless Fidelity Based
- Wireless Maximum Based
- Local Area network based
- GPRS / EDGE based
- LTE based
- Internet Connectivity Based
- VR / AR Based
- Management System based
By Volumetric Warehouse Categorisation
- Large Scale Warehousing Provisioners
- Small Scale Warehousing Provisioners
- Omni Business Warehousing Provisioners
- Medium Scale Warehousing Provisioners
By Mode of Application Type
- Digitised Operations
- Hardware / On site Operations
- System based Operations.
By Regional Classification
- Asia Pacific Region – APAC
- Middle East and Gulf Region
- Africa Region
- North America Region
- Europe Region
- Latin America and Caribbean Region
RECENT MARKET TECHNOLOGICAL TRENDS IN WAREHOUSE WEARABLES
The logistics industry is rapidly changing as technology advances. Many of the technology solutions coming to market have the potential to improve supply chains at every level; rugged mobile computers, handheld barcode scanners, or smart printers are all excellent examples of current warehouse technology that’s been implemented along the supply chain to increase production efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, and lower costs.
There have been some major new technological developments in this field with due consideration being given to the levels of safety and compliance needed at the warehousing operational site. This enhances the facility operations and human efficiency to the maximised limits.
RFID technologies can be utilized for many common distribution centre (DC) inventory management and warehouse operations, including put-away, picking, receiving, and shipping activities. RFID has an excellent ROI when you use its reading characteristics to overcome previous limitations and enable new processes.
Wearable computers are increasing in popularity, due to the fact that they use voice technology such as speech synthesis and recognition to allow workers to communicate with the Warehouse Management System (WMS). These computers are typically used in high-volume warehouses. Wearable computers are wireless and are paired with a microphone and headset to receive instructions by voice and verbally confirm their actions back into the WMS.
Augmented reality technology gives upon solutions specific to logistics needs wherein the wearable augmented reality glasses should be able to improve pallet building optimization by showcasing the most efficient, effective, and safe way for a worker to stack and assemble a pallet while protecting lighter products from potentially being crushed. This is integrated within the possibility of provisioning internal navigation systems that enable syncing the device with GPS.
This is done and established by uploading a map of the warehouse to a database the technology can access. The wearer can then re-orient themselves on the map of the warehouse by scanning the barcode of something nearby. This kind of internal route navigation could easily cut down on time wasted in the picking process. This augmented reality technology could guide the picker on a navigation route to the product on the pick order, show them a picture of the item, and then they would be able to scan the barcode for verification of the item.
Wearable technology can even provide information about worker health. Managers can monitor employee stress and fatigue, track repetitive motions, and avoid accidents . This integration can be seen within the Reflex wearable which is designed to reduce the number of workplace injuries.
If unsafe postures are detected, it provides real-time feedback to workers through vibration. The devices help employees learn ergonomic physical movements. Once employers have this data, they can take steps to adjust roles according to workers’ strengths and weaknesses.
One of the biggest challenges facing logistics professionals looking to implement wearable technology is the large number of solution providers and wearable technology devices available.
Despite the challenges of adopting new technology, many logistics professionals recognize the potential return on investment. Warehouse and logistics professionals are increasingly willing to accept new technology that improves their work-life quality and safety.
The Major competitor companies in the Warehouse wearable technology implementers includes DHL, Amazon ,Walmart, and other warehousing giants. While Google Glass has ultimately proved unsuccessful so far as Google’s initial concept for mainstream adoption, its application in supply chain and logistics is still growing.
DHL is an enterprise adopter of smart glasses for vision picking, and as early as 2017 the company reported an increase in worker productivity by 15% through the use of this wearable. Amazon was involved in integrating both RFID and barcode scanners available from several manufacturers in wrist, ring, or glove-mounted models, leaving both hands free to work. Scanners can send information using the internet or Bluetooth to either local or cloud-based servers, providing decision-makers the instant, real-time data they need.
Honeywell Intelligrated has been involved in development of a wearable solution for workers who locate and move items. It consists of a headset and device that straps onto the worker’s hip. This has brought upon the wearable technology allowing workflow accuracy rates of up to 99.9%. The hands-free solution directs them to the correct location for inventory pickups. Managers can use the system to communicate with employees while they are in the warehouse.
MAJOR CONTRIBUTION COMPANIES / INDUSTRIAL ESTABLISHMENTS
The Major Manufacturing Organisation of Warehouse wearables includes :