Augmented Reality: Picking and
sequencing with Google Glass
In practical use for three years
Google Glass is the brand name of a head-mounted miniature computer with an optical display in the form of a frame for glasses. In addition to displaying information on the display, data can also be obtained from the Internet. "Glass at work" is the name of the program in which a handful of selected Google partners make augmented reality usable and further developed for their everyday work processes.
At Schnellecke, Google Glass is used to support order picking and sequencing processes as well as module assembly. Since 2015, Schnellecke has been using data glasses, initially for testing purposes in Wolfsburg, but now also at numerous other locations around the world. Workers working with Google Glass will gradually see the relevant work instructions displayed directly in their field of vision. Thanks to free hands and flexible processes, the process is significantly accelerated and the error rate is reduced.
Examples include order picking and assembly processes of vehicle headliners for the VW Touran and VW Tiguan. This involves a total of four processes, from pre-packing the add-on parts to depositing the finished mold skirt in the sequence rack, which is then delivered to the assembly line at Volkswagen with pinpoint accuracy.
An employee with Google Glass prepares the raw skies for assembly. At first glance, the data glasses that the employee wears do not differ from conventional glasses. If you watch him for a while, however, you will notice that he repeatedly bangs his finger against the right temple of his glasses. Such knock marks can be used to select menu items or confirm selections.
All the necessary add-on parts are collected by other employees in so-called car sets or shopping baskets during pre-packing. Google Glass shows them where to remove which parts and in which baskets to place them. It's faster than ever, because now both hands are free to pick.
At the assembly tables, the canopies are assembled with further individual elements. The finished assembled canopies are then hung into the intended positions within the provided sequence racks.
Schnellecke now uses Google Glass at all stages of this process and has thus brought the error rate even closer to zero. In the background, all data flows together in the Schnellecke JIT system (SJS), an in-house development that serves to control just-in-time production and order picking processes. One of the software's strengths are its flexible interfaces with which it can dock and control any other subsystem, in this case the Google Glass application.
It took the Schnellecke programmers and the business partner Ubimax three months to write the software for these four workflows. The introduction phase lasted another three months. "No one has yet implemented a Google Glass application in this process depth," emphasizes Dr. Abaid Goda, who heads the corporate IT operation at Schnellecke. Augmented Reality is now also in use at a number of other Schnellecke locations worldwide.