Volvo opts for Voice partnership with Vocollect and DatAction
DatAction has implemented advanced ‘Pick-To-Line’ voice picking technology at Volvo Cars. This was achieved in various factories in Belgium (Ghent), the United States (Charleston) and China (Daqing).
Volvo Cars’ old voice system, used to supply the production lines, was technically outdated. Speech recognition was slow and replacement hardware was no longer available. Background noise was also a problem with voice recognition.
The new Pick-To-Line system communicates directly with Volvo’s Building Information System (BIS) for optimal data synchronization. Thanks to the up-to-date picking stock, the automatic replenishment of the stock is considerably more efficient: the picker no longer has to arrange the request via a separate mobile application and associated hardware, but now does this directly via the voice solution. The system provides four picking types, with specific functionality for supplying the assembly line. These are: single picking, multi picking, kitting and batch picking. Because the functionality of the new system was developed in close cooperation with Volvo Business Logistics and the BIS development team, it perfectly matches the wishes on the shop floor.
In the second project phase, the system was refined and new functionalities were added to further improve productivity. A number of voice-picking processes are now also being used in the warehouse. The pickers can use both their voice and the (built-in) scanner of the voice device to register the parts. The functionality ‘Picking by mix number’ for the prototype cars has been added and it is now also possible to register certain parts, such as airbags, using 2D barcodes. ‘Multi user’ and ‘Out of Sequency’ picking has also been made possible, whereby several pickers can work at the same time to assemble a kit of parts more quickly.
After delivery in Ghent, the system was also implemented in Volvo’s factory in Charleston, United States, and in Daqing, China. The same working method is used in these Volvo factories as in Ghent, which means that the same voice application was perfectly usable. We therefore work with identical hardware and software as in Ghent. This enabled Ghent’s experienced IT team to supervise the roll-out remotely without any problems.
Volvo Cars experiences a significant error reduction in their process through the ‘Pick-To-Line’ voice picking technology from DatAction. There is also more job satisfaction among the pickers.