Carsten Funke has been working for Picavi since 2016. Since 2018, the Chief Sales Officer has also been a shareholder of the Aachen-based company. At the beginning of 2019, the trained businessman also took over the position of CEO at the US subsidiary Picavi U.S. Inc., which will promote the North American business of the provider of the pick-by-vision solution. Carsten Funke, born in 1975, worked in the management of a non-profit organization before joining Picavi.
TRCutler: Why did pump manufacturer KSB digitize its spare parts logistics using Picavi smart glasses?
Carsten Funke: The pump and fittings manufacturer KSB is relying on the pick-by-vision solution from Picavi at its European central warehouse. The Picavi smart glasses are enabling the company to speed up its picking operations for the approximately 14,000 items in stock. After a three-month test phase at the KSB business site in Grünstadt, Germany, the Picavi solution is being used in regular operations and is connected to the warehouse management system (WMS). Carsten Funke of Picavi USA
TRCutler: How do the smart glasses interact with the WMS?
Carsten Funke: The core element of the Picavi solution is the link between the smart glasses and special software that is coupled to KSB’s “viadat” warehouse management system. The employees obtain all the data about the current order on their glasses, depending on their particular situation, and it is available within their line of vision. The handheld devices used in the past are no longer necessary. The employees have all the relevant data available at any time.
TRCutler: What information does the worker experience via the smart glasses?
Carsten Funke: In addition to the job details, the distribution of items in the warehouse is shown such as how many items are located in which area of the warehouse as well as obtaining information about urgent orders. Incoming emergency shipments become a direct part of the normal activities in the warehouse without the warehouse manager having to adopt any other measures. The employees have both hands free. All the major activities are managed via the Picavi smart glasses from incoming stocks to picking and transport and even combining orders.
TRCutler: Are the smart glasses like a navigation system for the warehouse?
Carsten Funke: Yes. Our software processes the data from the warehouse management system in graphical terms and makes it available in a comprehensible manner via the glasses. This is particularly suitable for products consisting of a number of small parts, as is often the case in spare parts logistics. The automatic vertical lifts, which are frequently encountered at spare parts warehouses and contain 1,000 different items, can also be integrated within the application. Time-consuming searches are a thing of the past with our smart glasses. In the end, they accelerate all the procedures.
TRCutler: How has the management team at KSB spare warehouse reacted to the smart glasses?
Carsten Funke: One of the managers of the KSB spare parts warehouse noted that since the introduction of the glasses at the warehouse in Grünstadt, the company has experienced a significant increase in efficiency in picking work. Employees readily welcomed the new technology and as a result, the company continues to order additional smart glasses.
TRCutler: When does Picavi introduce employees to the technology?
Carsten Funke: When integrating the Picavi solution into a company, like KSB, we always involve the employees right from the development stage. That’s the only way of creating a solution that resolves the practical problems and is accepted in everyday operations.
TRCutler: What kinds of productivity increases can be found in the pump industry using the smart glasses application?
Carsten Funke: Thirty-five percent (35%) increased productivity is typical and what KSB experienced. KSB plans to introduce the system in two more spare parts warehouses, so that staff there can also benefit from the advantages of pick-by-vision technology. Using the smart glasses in production logistics is an opportunity to make picking processes faster and more efficient here too.
TRCutler: How does pick-by-vision provide the picking labor a better overview without time-consuming searching?
Carsten Funke: In the pump warehouses globally, spare parts logistics often use vertical lifts, which can contain hundreds of different items. The pick-by-vision system gives workers a much better overview here, without time-consuming searching. As well as spare part picking, the smart glasses are also a useful orientation system for the warehouse. This helps accelerate work processes.
TRCutler: Is the KSB warehouse experience typical for most pump and valve companies?
Carsten Funke: Yes the KSB experience is typical which is why Picavi smart glasses have become the industry standard. Pumps, valves, and service for every application ensure highly efficient and reliable solutions are used wherever fluids need to be transported, controlled, or shut off. KSB and other pump manufacturers work with standard products for applications in building services and industry, custom-made units for the mining and energy sectors to special solutions for transporting water or chemicals. These products offer a long service life, minimal wear, and maintenance as well as optimal energy efficiency. The fact that KSB has adopted Picavi smart glasses validate the efficacy of the technology.
Thomas R. Cutler is the President and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based, TR Cutler, Inc., celebrating its 23rd year. Cutler is the founder of the Manufacturing Media Consortium including more than 9000 journalists, editors, and economists writing about trends in manufacturing, industry, material handling, and process improvement. Cutler authors more than 1000 feature articles annually regarding the manufacturing sector. Cutler has established special divisions including Africa Manufacturing, Gen Z Workforce, and Food & Beverage Manufacturing & Logistics. Cutler was named the Global Supply Chain journalist of the year. Over 5200 industry leaders follow Cutler on Twitter daily at @ThomasRCutler. Contact Cutler at email@example.com.