30 November 2022 One of the key issues currently driving the intralogistics industry is ergonomics in the workplace. Good ergonomics are crucial in the attempt to alleviate the shortage of skilled labour in the logistics sector and make job openings more attractive. For software manufacturers such as CIM, the ergonomics of software design is another central aspect. Our newly redesigned user interface has significantly optimised PROLAG World in terms of usability. But for us, safe, healthy and efficient working doesn’t end at the workstation. A software solution like PROLAG World is more than just a user interface operated at the click of a mouse: the WMS plays a significant role with regard to the practical, tangible aspects of warehouse operation. Ergonomics as a core issue at CIMWe do more the just sell software at CIM. At the heart of our business are the intralogistics workflows and processes managed by our software. Paths through the warehouse from goods receipt to location suggestion, stock retrieval and picking, production, packing and shipping – these are all logistics processes consisting of multiple individual steps. What’s the safest path to a storage location? How can picking be made as simple and efficient as possible? What’s the best packaging for an item?To find the optimal solution for individual customers’ intralogistics, the standard PROLAG World system provides multiple features for optimising ergonomics around warehousing and shipping. Our integrated order picking system PROLAG Go guides pickers through the warehouse on the safest and most efficient route. Aisles which are already occupied by another picker are not accessed, height restrictions are taken into account, and hazardous zones and locked areas are avoided. In other words, the application significantly enhances health and safety in the warehouse.Innovations in software and hardware – intralogistics and smart glassesIn order to make the various steps of the stock retrieval and picking process more ergonomic, we have steadily been increasing our focus on the technical implementation of ergonomic work methods in the warehouse. As a frontrunner in terms of innovation and passion for technology, CIM already has long-standing collaborations with leading smart glass manufacturers. Pick-by-vision is an efficient, ergonomic method of guiding order pickers safely through aisles and improving picking quality. Our experts at CIM make sure that our software is only coupled with systems that meet our requirements in terms of workplace ergonomics. While functionality and software connectivity play an important role, the health and safety of warehouse staff is also key. It is essential that wearing smart glasses for several hours at a time does not cause stinging eyes, headaches or neck pain. The wearer’s field of vision should not be restricted and a build-up of heat on the head must be avoided. Safety, performance, weight, vision, display frequency – all this and much more has to be right before we recommend a system to our customers.The Nimmsta principle: Natural movements as the path to better ergonomicsIn view of the requirements of numerous existing and prospective customers, our logistics consultants have identified an area which is particularly promising in terms of ergonomics. Freehand scanning is a way of optimising stock retrieval and picking without the restrictions imposed by technical equipment. It’s a method which allows order pickers to keep both hands free. The most natural of human movements – gripping with the hand – once again becomes a predominant element of the most common intralogistics workflows.The evolution of freehand scanning stems from the trend for wearable app technology. This has become a permanent feature of our daily lives in recent years in the form of various smartwatch products. Industrial wearables have also become increasingly common since they are the perfect link between software, hardware and physical work. Nimmsta was one of the first companies to recognise the potential of this technology. Founded as a start-up in 2019, they have developed a freehand scanner which in our opinion substantially improves ergonomics in intralogistics. In our recent CIM Talk with logistics expert Kilian Küsters, Nimmsta business development manager Andreas Baumann illustrated exactly how a freehand scanner can simplify and optimise the entire order picking process.Perfect interaction between software and hardwareThe Nimmsta HS50 freehand scanner looks like a cross between a glove and a smartwatch and allows spontaneous, unrestricted movement. The user’s hands and fingers remain free, meaning that even the smallest of items can be picked easily. There’s no need for wearers to put down the scanner in between tasks or take their eyes off the load unit. The integrated touch display is worn on the back of the hand, allowing the step-by-step instructions to be read as simply as telling the time on a watch. The technical details are extensive and the possible uses of the scanner are virtually endless. For our logistics experts at CIM, however, the essential feature of the device is that it alleviates physical strain and improves ergonomics for warehouse staff. Besides unrestricted movement and near-universal usability, the Nimmsta freehand scanner provides employees with all the information they need from PROLAG World to process pick orders safely and efficiently. It allows fast interaction with the WMS, enabling simple actions like inventory to be performed on the spot. Users no longer have to gesticulate in front of a camera, nor do they need to rely on voice control systems. Lists, terminals and unnecessary routes through the warehouse for inventory are a thing of the past.PROLAG World as a natural extension of the human armAs a leading manufacturer of intralogistics software, innovations such as smart glasses and the Nimmsta freehand scanner are hugely beneficial for us. They make PROLAG World easier to work with and more accessible. Reducing the work at stationary terminals with the help of functional, ergonomic devices highlights the strengths of a professional warehouse control system. The distance between user and software is narrowed and the natural conditions in intralogistics are brought to the fore. Ergonomics enabled by clever, user-friendly and task-oriented innovations is a subject close to our hearts. And so the immense organisational strength of a computer-controlled warehouse management system is transformed into a natural extension of the human arm.