During the production of a car, workers must scan a total of about 1,000 times a variety of barcodes, for example, the parts that connect them. Every time they have to reach the hand-held scanner with a bar code, a device about 20 cm long, which usually hangs or lies somewhere in the workplace. With Mark II of the German producer Proglove which should belong to the past.
The Mark II is a 50 x 45 x 16 mm scanner placed on a glove. Compared to conventional scanners, the device is much smaller and lighter at 40 grams. According to the manufacturer, Proglove saves BMW by using the Mark II four seconds per scan, mainly due to the fact that workers no longer need to extract a separate device.
Depending on the application, there are various gloves with click device. For work areas that require some protection, a complete glove is available, with which we perform the scanning process with our thumbs using a button on the side of the index. The same principle that Proglove uses in a second glove model, which is open, therefore suitable for jobs where it is not necessary to protect the hands. Alternatively, the open-gloves model can also be pulled over other gloves. A second open glove model has the button in the palm of your hand.
After wearing the Mark II for a few minutes, we barely notice it on the hand. When we press the button, a light and a viewfinder appear; The scanner is then ready to acquire a barcode. Especially when you wear the palm scan glove, we feel a little like Spider-Man: the trigger gesture is the same as Peter Parker's when he crosses his web. If we scan a code successfully, we receive feedback on the vibrations. This also allows users in noisy environments to recognize that they have acquired their code.
Furthermore, the system can be set to provide positive or negative feedback depending on whether the correct part has been scanned. In this way, for example, it is possible to prevent the assembly of an incorrect part during assembly. The signal on a wrong side is unique, as we noted in our short test.
Mark II is connected to a network via an access point as standard. Proglove provides a configuration tool for hardware that allows you to combine the scanner with a variety of software, depending on the customer's use. Proglove was able to increase the Mark II range to 150 cm compared to the first model. In our tests, the scanner did not have any difficulty even with the objects nearby to capture the code correctly.
The Mark II by Proglove with the half-open glove (Image: Thomas Hölzel / Golem.de)
Connected via a wireless network (868 MHz), the Mark II should still operate up to 30 meters away from the access point. The scanner can also be connected via Bluetooth LE, so the range drops to 10 meters. Scanning is performed by a camera, which will be used in the future for image documentation. Thus, for example, faulty packages in the logistics chain could be registered directly and forwarded to a database without having to use a separate camera.