Voice systems in the warehouse
Distribution centres and manufacturer warehouses are increasingly turning to innovative software solutions. These include ‘Pick by Voice’ technologies based on a two-way exchange of data between the system and the operator via voice commands, allowing warehouse staff to communicate with software systems without using a screen, keyboard or barcode reader.
Voice technology allows work to be carried out using human speech, leaving workers with both hands free in order to ensure a more friendly work environment, flexibility and safety during the work process.
Operators receive voice commands regarding the product, product quantity and the location from which the specified product is to be retrieved. Once the command has been executed, the operators confirm the work done by speaking a specific fixed voice command.
Voice systems are most commonly used in the order picking process. Good examples of the use of voice systems are the warehouses of companies in the food industry, which require foodstuffs to be stored in a cold or freezer room, as well as manufacturer warehouses in the furniture industry. In freezer warehouses, where the temperature varies between -5 and -25°C, employees have to work in thick gloves, making order picking a daunting challenge. In the case of the furniture industry, where heavy and bulky goods most often need to be lifted, hand relief for warehouse workers is required. Voice systems are best suited to such conditions.
Determining the scope and method of integration between logifact®WMS and voice systems requires detailed, case-by-case arrangements during business talks and during the preparation of the functional specification, which is the first stage of logifact®WMS implementation work.
It is a good practice to precede the delivery and implementation of WMS integrated with a voice system with a logistical design (logifact®Projekt), which is included in the product offer of Logifact-Systems.
Typical elements of a voice system architecture
- Hardware layer: voice terminals with wireless or plug-in handsets, combined with chargers for voice terminals and handsets.
- Software layer: application running on the voice terminals to control the operation of the terminals.
- Warehouse management system integration layer: module of interface with logifact® WMS.