Multimodal voice expertise gets Unicoop Tirreno an innovative voice picking solution

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LXE Inc., a leading manufacturer of rugged wireless computers that improve the performance of supply-chain execution applications, announces the deployment of an innovative order picking system based on the latest voice recognition technology at Unicoop Tirrenos logistics centres.

The voice picking order preparation project, developed in partnership with Cooperative CGS from Vercelli, which specialises in internal logistics services, was initially implemented in the Unicoop Tirrreno Logistics Centre of Vignale (LI). It will be followed in the near future by an implementation in Ariccia (RM). The dry food warehouse inside the Unicoop Tirreno Logistics Centre of Vignale covers an area measuring 13,000 m and is independently managed by CGS. An average of 35 operators work there every day, handling around 10,000,000 crates a year. The fresh food warehouse, next to the dry food warehouse, which is also managed by CGS, has been included in the development plan and will soon be using voice picking.

The voice picking system is made up of an LXE MX7 mobile computer, vo-Ce voice recognition software and a headset. It is directly linked to the warehouse management application which runs on a Unix operating system and accesses an Oracle 8.0 database. The radiofrequency network used by the voice picking system is based on a Cisco backbone (Aironet AP 1242) which has WiFi 54Mbit/s connections and which is compatible with future 5GHz communications systems.

Vo-Ce, the innovative product developed by Itworks is used to communicate with operators using speech. This voice recognition system is installed on LXE MX7 wireless computers and enables voices to be accurately recognised without each operator having to undergo training. This feature eliminates the need for all those unproductive training sessions, aggravated by high operator turnover rates, used to record speech profiles.

The warehouse management application created by Unicoop Tirrenos Information Systems Department uses modern Java programming technology. This innovative approach eliminates the need to implement middleware to manage voice terminals and takes advantage of multimodality. In other words goods can be picked through the use of voice commands, using the MX7 wireless computers traditional functions at the same time, thus ensuring that communication between host system and voice computer takes place in real time for each individual transaction.

As soon as CGS and LXE Italia proposed a solution based on standard protocols, multimodal use of terminals and a guarantee that communications would take place in real time, we really had no doubts left at all, explains Massimo Tardani, Director of Unicoop Tirreno Logistics. Integrating the voice picking system into our warehouse management applications was simple and immediate, and implementation quickly followed.

The objective of this important project was to increase productivity of operators tasked with preparing orders, and, above all, to improve quality of deliveries, states Massimo Savini, Managing Director of CGS. We fully achieved both goals from the very first days of actually going live with this solution.

Our partnership with CGS played a crucial role in the success of this important project, says Daniele Moroni, Country Manager of LXE Italia. The trust that Unicoop Tirreno placed in us demonstrates the validity of our product development strategy. These products are robust, dedicated to the logistics sector, based on industry standards and include innovative solutions such as ToughTalkTM Technology.

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