Viapost is trialing a voice support system to optimize manual sorting activities on its French sites. This working method’s optimization system aims to improve performance and mobility.
Nearly 1,500,000 packages and parcels are processed every day using Viapost's four industrial platforms in the Ile de France, however 2% of these flows cannot be processed by machines because of their size or weight.
In order to optimize manual processing, 20 Viapost employees have trialed a voice support tool: the WT41NO developed by Zebra, which specializes in embedded IT solutions.
The WT41NO consists of an arm-worn terminal with a keyboard and a display screen connected to a headset and a ring scanner to simplify a single action, scanning a package or parcel and assigning its sorting area.
This equipment also makes the entire manual sorting process more reliable by automating the recording of administrative data in a computer system that allows:
Finally, the ergonomics and practicality of the equipment reduce the movement of operators on their workstations, giving them extra comfort and leaving them free to handle the package or parcel.
The experiment started in July 2017 and has improved the rate of packages sorted per hour for one person by up to 50%. This has also reduced the time spent on administrative inputting by 68%.
By the end of 2018, all Viapost employees working on manual sorting will be equipped with the voice assistant.
At the cutting edge of technology, Viapost is also testing another even more efficient piece of equipment: Zebra's TC56 with headphones and ring scanner connected to the Bluetooth terminal to remove the risk of wires snagging. A built-in camera can also capture and archive a defect.
* Manual sorting: manual sorting action by operators on ex-spectrum products which cannot be processed by machines such as large or cylindrical shaped objects