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DHL Supply Chain Launches AR trial in Australia

An article on Computer World discusses an Augmented Reality trial that DHL Supply Chain, a logistics company, is testing with an Australian client to evaluate the benefits of AR in warehouse operations.

Andrew Weyer, the vice president of DHL Supply Chain, has said that the company’s investment in AR is due to their ‘Industry 4.0’ emerging tech assessment. DHL Supply Chain’s 2014 paper, Augmented Reality in Logistics, outlined 3 key areas of the logistics industry which could benefit most from AR: warehouse operations, transportation optimisation, and last-mile delivery.

In 2015, DHL conducted a three-week pilot in a Ricoh warehouse using Google Glass and Vuzix. The results of this showed an over 25% productivity increase, which then lead to DHL deciding to expand their AR program and conduct further trials, across different industries as well as countries.

Weyer is quoted to have said that RF picking technology has shown to be especially vital in the pharmaceutical industry, as it allows for greater accuracy, which is particularly important because patients’ lives depend on getting the right batch. DHL is responsible for around 80% of the direct distribution of healthcare products to pharmacies in Australia.

The AR pilot is managed by a globally-used operations maturity standard, which introduces many strict disciplines; daily reporting on productivity is useful for actively understanding the impact of different technologies.