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A startup is different from a conventional company. It is an experimental company with an exceptionally high level of innovation. More and more often, we deal with interesting startups in warehouse logistics. ProGlove Mark is a good example here.

In autumn 2017, the Munich-based ProGlove startup was selected to participate in the German Accelerator’s New York program. No wonder, as the startup, which had been operating at that time for three years, managed to create an effective tool connecting production or warehouse employees with the Internet of Things (IoT).

ProGlove launched the gloves in Europe in autumn 2016. Initially, the focus was on Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The idea was taken up by almost all European manufacturers and suppliers of cars and parts, including BMW, Mahle and Skoda, who are customers of ProGlove. The startup also serves companies from the retail sector and e-commerce, e.g. a supermarket chain, Penny. Currently, the system is used by customers all over Europe and it is also being tested by users in the USA and Canada.

How does it work?

It is clear that barcode scanning plays an important role in the industry and logistics environment. In many companies, employees use this technology to confirm work orders or document processing stages. Until now, they usually used handheld scanners for this purpose. These, however, turn out to be quite awkward and inconvenient, weigh a lot, have a limited battery life, are often lost and break down easily. This slows down workers in sectors where time is the main asset.

The ProGlove wearables solve these problems and provide greater efficiency, ergonomics, quality and process reliability. The smart ProGlove MARK replaces the traditional pistol-grip scanner. Employees no longer need to look for a scanner, and above all: their hands are always free.

The creators of ProGlove MARK emphasize that this is an Industry 4.0 solution. In fact, it’s a smart work glove with a barcode scanner integrated into it. By adding the scanner to the back of your hand, the wearables allow hands-free scanning. In addition to efficiency and convenience, it also means, for example, a more efficient and ergonomic way of keeping records, which is achieved through non-contact scanning of articles. The provider points out to the ease of implementation (Plug & Play, i.e. no integration required).

ProGlove Mark can be used for both demanding production line stages and small parts picking in a warehouse

The scanning function is activated by pressing the trigger on the glove material. The employee gets direct optical, acoustical and haptic feedback on the individual stages of the process. Everything is done very quickly and without any effort.

ProGlove specialists stress that the glove is part of the Dynamic Material Handling concept. Using a USB or RS-232 connection, the barcode scanner connects wirelessly to a small box connected to your computer or tablet at distances of up to 30 m. 1D/2D barcode scanning is standard. Various glove designs are available, sizes 7 to 10, for right and left-handed use; longlife version (Velcro cuff as an alternative to S, M and L sizes).

Recently, ProGlove launched the second generation of smart gloves. MARK 2 was presented to the public at this year’s IoT Tech Expo in London with the company slogan ‘For a Smarter Workforce’. The new device features Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity, extended scanning range and longer battery life.

1D and 2D barcode engine is twice as fast and accurate as before

MARK 2 provides up to 50% longer battery life. With an extended scanning range of up to 1.5 m, MARK 2 has become a useful scanner for picking applications, for example. The Instant Worker Feedback feature has also been improved: after scanning, employees receive optical, acoustical and haptic feedback. This can, for example, report errors, but it can also indicate the priorities of your shipments.

I firmly believe that industrial wearables will be another great thing. Our smart wearables save your employees up to 4 seconds per scan. If you assume that hundreds or even thousands of employees scan several thousand times per shift, this gives you a significant volume. Our technology is Plug & Play, which makes it extremely easy to implement,” said Andreas König, CEO of ProGlove in an interview.

Photo: Pro-glove.com

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