18th June 2023
As we enter the week when the IFOY Awards are handed out in Dortmund (on Thursday June 22nd), we continue our look at all of the 2023 finalists and share the verdict from the IFOY test conducted during the evaluation by an expert jury in March. Our next entry is the Light Tag pick-by-light solution from NIMMSTA GmbH.
The NIMMSTA Light Tags represent a completely new approach to a pick-by-light solution that achieves up to 80% more efficiency without integration effort and in combination with the NIMMSTA Industrial Smart Watch.
IFOY category: Special of the Year
IFOY Test Report
NIMMSTA had set up a shelf at its booth where visitors to IFOY TEST DAYS could try their hand as a picker. So what could be more natural than putting on one of the company’s hand straps and getting started? The task for visitors was to pick five products. Without assistance from NIMMSTA’s system, it took the tester 112 seconds. But it can be even better. With support from the Light Tags, the time could be reduced to 74 seconds.
The approach to the solution is completely new, because the “Light Tags” contain only battery-powered LEDs (battery life: three to five years) that light up in different colours and patterns. All the logic is in the NIMMSTA wearable, which personnel wear directly on their bodies. This combination makes all intralogistics processes digital and more efficient.
Via Bluetooth, a position is assigned once to each light tag in the NIMMSTA app. The light tag is then attached to the corresponding storage location with an adhesive strip. As soon as the picker is sent to position 1 via the NIMMSTA smart watch and the picker approaches position 1 within a radius of 10m, the smart watch and the light tag light up in the same colour and pattern. Based on the Freehand workflows and the pick-by-light solution with the light tags, the processes run up to 80% more efficiently, because the storage location is additionally immediately visually recognisable for the personnel. In the process, the wearable creates the conditions for up to a 50% percent increase in efficiency and the light tags contribute up to 30%.
Remarkably, no integration effort is required to use the system. Alternative pick-by-light systems are complex and costly to implement, both on the software side and the electronics or wiring at the racks. NIMMSTA’s pick-by-light solution is simple and smart: the intelligence is not in the display system, but in the industrial smart watch, which only addresses the corresponding light tag. With the help of this solution, processes can be transformed into freehand workflows.
IFOY test verdict: The potential for the solution in intralogistics and production is considerable. The provider’s goal is to optimize not just one process step, but the entire value chain. The focus is on creating more efficiency for the user, increasing process quality, and consequently securing the user’s productivity and growth. At the same time, however, the working environment of the personnel in intralogistics and production is to be improved.
IFOY Innovation Check
Market relevance: With increasing turnover figures in the mail order business, the topic of picking efficiency is gaining in importance. With the combination of “Industrial Smart Watch” with scanner as well as the “Light Tags”, NIMMSTA offers a cost-efficient solution to achieve a significantly higher picking speed than with handgun scanners when manually assembling consignments of goods. The market relevance is particularly high for small and medium-sized warehouses (in SMEs) where no investment in automation solutions is planned. However, the solution also scales into large warehouses and can pay for itself within 4 to 8 months.
Customer benefit: In addition to the 50% increase in efficiency already measured in customer applications using the wearable, the light tags are expected to improve search time at the shelf by a further 30% while reducing picking errors. Since the battery-operated light tags are only stuck to the shelf and integrated into the system with a one-time scan, setup is extremely simple and also very cost-effective compared to other solutions.
Novelty / Innovation: The combination of wearable with a pick/put-by-light solution without cabling effort and with very simple installation can be considered as a special novelty, which promises high efficiency increases in manual picking with very low investments and costs at the same time.
Functionality / Type of implementation: In terms of functionality, great importance was attached to simple usability in all relevant processes. Starting with the quick installation by simple sticking and one-time booking in the system, over the stringent user guidance via wearable and display of the next product by the light tags in the colours of the picker up to the replacement of the AAA batteries after the 3 to 5 years’ runtime in the tags for uninterrupted operation. The high battery life is achieved through extremely low-power communication strategies between the light tags and the wearable, and because no data processing takes place in the tags. By concentrating all intelligent functions in the wearable and via its cloud connection, a wide variety of other processes (goods receipt booking, inventory, stock transfer) can be added.
Verdict: The NIMMSTA pick-by-light solution enables a significant increase in efficiency of manual picking and putting processes, innovatively implemented through a technically simple display technology for the shelves in the warehouse that can be easily integrated by sticking and scanning. Due to the high level of user-friendliness, the comprehensive connection to a wide range of warehouse management systems and the very short payback period of usually a few months, the system is considered to have very high market potential.
Market relevance ++
Customer benefit ++
Novelty / Innovation +
Functionality / Type of implementation ++
[KEY: ++ very good / + good / Ø balanced / – less / — not available]
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