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DAF Truck N.V.

DAF Truck N.V.

DAF Trucks N.V. is the leading manufacturer of commercial vehicles in Europe. DatAction successfully implemented a new voice application at DAF. Thanks to DatActions software adjustments and voice system upgrades, DAF saw a large reduction in the number of errors. In addition, the pickers now enjoy smoother and intuitive voice dialogue.

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The question

DAF’s distribution centers used a voice picking system from another provider. They ran into issues with, among other things, voice recognition and complex combinations of check digits to be spoken. Especially the time-outs when recording and the lack of an answer from the system made it difficult for the pickers.
The combination of these issues caused a lot of irritation. Sometimes a hand scanner was even used to complete the picking, resulting in a loss of efficiency.

The solution

During a DCW (Distribution Center Walkthrough) by DatAction, Honeywell and partner Art4L, we noticed a number of shortcomings in Paccar Parts’ existing voice system. After an extensive analysis of the logs, we came to the conclusion that there was not only a need for a software revision, but also for an optimization of the voice recognition and simplification of the picking prompts.

The new application was equipped with adaptive recognition technology. This technology reduces the chance of recognition errors. Based on the expected voting input from the user, the voting templates are intelligently adjusted automatically. The picking task was better aligned with picking in practice, by adjusting the dialogues, so that the entire process runs smoothly and without errors. Furthermore, by fine-tuning the recognition parameters, we prevent the system from incorrectly recognizing commands (so-called substitutions / insertions).

In terms of hardware, the oldest Honeywell TalkMans (voice devices) were replaced by the new Honeywell TalkMan A720X with SRX-3 wireless headsets. These headsets optimally suppress ambient noise. The voice task is now compatible with both the new (Linux) devices and the existing (CE) TalkMans. This allowed the old devices to be replaced without interrupting warehouse activities. An additional investment for DAF was not necessary because we kept the same interface with the mainframe.

The result

DAF Trucks employees have recently started working with the DatAction voice application. A bull’s eye tells Gregory Morrone, Continuous Improvement Manager PDC Eindhoven and project leader at DAF, enthusiastically:

I have been very impressed with the performance of our system since the application was introduced. What I find most important is the appreciation I see from our pickers every time I walk through the warehouse. I even get a thumbs up every now and then! So: congratulations to everyone on a great result!”

Gregory MorroneContinuous Improvement Manager PDC Eindhoven and project leader at DAF