Cinram benefits from voice picking solution

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Cinram Logistics UK is operating a new voice-directed picking (VDP) system supplied by KNAPP UK Ltd at its site in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

The 10 VDP terminals which are used for the picking of very fast-moving lines from pallets, such as new DVD releases of top films, as well as for slow-moving and bulky articles from static shelving are just part of a comprehensive modernisation project at the Aylesbury site.

Cinram commissioned KNAPP to upgrade both the hardware and software at the distribution centre, with the objectives of making the installation future-proof and providing additional capacity. The project marks the latest milestone in a long and successful partnership between KNAPP and the distribution centres management. The new equipment includes a new KiSoft Klass-X WCS, a PLC upgrade from Siemens S5 to S7 and modernisation of the pick-to-light system, including replacement of all 8,456 displays with the latest technology.

Cinram Logistics UK is Europes largest distributor of entertainment media, with access to tens of thousands of titles. The company partners leading content owners, helping them to streamline their supply chain operations and providing them with competitive advantage through next-day delivery of all lines to retail outlets across the whole of the UK.

As it now demonstrates a proven track record, voice-directed picking is growing in popularity. With a VDP system, each operator is supplied with orders to a headset via radio frequency, with each step in the picking sequence being confirmed verbally. Unlike paper-based or RF systems, VDP solutions allow staff to use both hands for picking, making the technique ideal for handling loads of mixed sizes and varying weights. KISoft VOICE, KNAPPs own sophisticated VDP software, has the facility to use several different languages simultaneously, allowing clients to integrate non-mother-tongue workers seamlessly into the workflow. Key benefits of VDP are highly efficient picking operations, precise inventory control and accurate lot identification. In addition, avoiding the need for high-speed printers and paper pick lists makes the technology appealing to companies with a green agenda.

Switching to voice-directed picking can have dramatic effects on performance. Explains Craig Rollason, Head of Sales & Marketing for KNAPP UK Ltd, Our VDP solutions show an increase in picking performance over paper picking of up to 35% and over handheld scanner operations of up to 15%. In these testing economic times when comparative costs and margins really matter, these are significant advantages.

This VDP order from Cinram is just one of many that KNAPP has installed recently across Europe. A leading UK supermarket chain has ordered 300 VDP units and KNAPP has supplied other VDP solutions in the UK to home entertainment specialist Handleman and veterinary products supplier Centaur Services. On the Continent, KNAPP has installed four VDP systems in Germany for food wholesaler Kaisers Tengelmann; electronics supplier Vivanco; garden centre retailer Dehner; and Coca-Cola licence holder Getrnke-Industrie Hamburg as well as one for the pharmaceutical company Cooprofar in Portugal.

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