How Schnellecke optimizes costs and efficiency by means of wearable computing
By implementing an xPick solution based on wearable computing, Schnellecke has improved logistics in terms of performance, costs, and efficiency.
Schnellecke produces various module systems for the Golf, Touran, and Tiguan models at its Wolfsburg plant and delivers them just in time/just in sequence to Volkswagen. Due to the JIT and JIS deliveries, the processes are highly dependent on optimized and error-free process steps.
Faster processes, fewer errors
In the past, the conventional individual item picking of vehicle components with hand scanners was prone to errors and led to delays within the close-meshed assembly processes. Therefore, both the speed and the quality of the picking and sequencing processes, for example for the assembly of the more than 1,000 Touran and Tiguan headliners produced each day, needed to be improved.
The objective was to increase process speed and reduce the error rate in order to thus improve the supply to the customer. The focus was also on the ergonomic factor; employees need both hands to handle the often heavy and bulky vehicle components. Therefore, the optimal IT solution was to be hands-free.
Together with its project partner Ubimax, Schnellecke then implemented the hands-free picking solution xPick with the xBand, mobile barcode scanners, and a pick-by-vision solution within three months.
With the new solution, several process steps and call-offs have now been combined, digitalized, automated, and bundled into a new type of multi-order picking for the final assembly. Via a bidirectional interface to Schnellecke's JIT system SJS, xPick was also fully integrated into the IT process landscape.
Digitalization on the shop floor
The picking solution is used in combination with the xBand multi-sensor RFID wristband, which enables hands-free operation along the entire process chain. Picking steps are confirmed with the xBand, which completely eliminates the time-consuming scanning process.
The introduction of the system significantly accelerated the picking process. Process quality was improved, the error rate was reduced to zero. In addition to the process speed and the error rate, the introduction of the hands-free operation has also significantly improved ergonomics. Furthermore, the introductory period for new employees was shortened, and the deployment of staff became more flexible. In times of increasing digitalization and automation, such solutions enable shop floor staff to concentrate on their primary tasks.