Audi uses wearables in logistics

An innovative scanner glove has now replaced conventional barcode scanners at selected workplaces in the international logistics of CKD (completely knocked down) in Ingolstadt. The scanner is integrated in the “ProGlove.” The employees trigger the scanning function by pressing the thumb and first finger together. This means that they have both hands free for their work and save additional hand movements, to pick up and put down the scanner for example. It also minimizes walking and makes the working routines in CKD Packing more ergonomic.

“For our employees, the scanner glove is a real help. It makes them more flexible; they can move freely and can scan and pack the cartons more easily,” explained Hartmut Bartsch, Head of CKD Packing. “In addition, with the help of the glove, we design complex logistics processes to be more innovative and more efficient.”

“The development of ProGlove follows the idea that wearable electronics have to support the employees. That’s why we have developed a light glove for industry that is intuitive to use, and which can be deployed without any integration expense,” stated Thomas Kirchner, CEO of ProGlove.

The intelligent glove has an ergonomically optimized trigger button on the index finger, which operates the scanner when it is pressed against the thumb. The employee doesn’t have to focus on the barcode, because the scanning function is integrated in the natural hand movement. By means of optical (LED light), acoustical (buzzer) and tactile (vibration) signals, the commissioner knows that the article has been scanned.

The scanner communicates with the receiver unit by radio. This access point is connected via USB or a normal serial connector; the installation of additional software is not necessary. The battery charge is designed to last for the period of a working shift and can then be fully recharged within two hours.

Audi has successfully tested the ProGlove for four weeks and has now deployed the first gloves in the CKD Packing area. This is the first step towards widespread use of so-called wearables in production. In parallel with CKD Packing in Ingolstadt, the glove is also being tested in pilot phases in other areas of production at Audi.