inside
The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand

Innovation

Lydia Directs 
Logistician 
to Kiwi

The Logistics department at 
Wolfsburg is intensifying the amount of interaction 
between humans and technology. 
The project from the Pact for the Future will ensure 
a more ergonomic and precise working style.


Her name is Lydia. You can’t 
see her – but you can hear her. When Kevin Foerster in Logistics Hall 55 in Wolfsburg puts on his headset, the computer voice, called Lydia, shows him the way. Since the beginning of the year, Logistics has been picking the side cladding for the trunk of the new Golf and Golf Sportsvan using a "pick-by-voice" system called Lydia. Currently, it’s still a pilot project, but soon it will become a permanent fixture, as the feedback from employees like Kevin Foerster has been positive.

But how exactly does pick-by-voice work? Hand-held scanners and sheets of paper are history. Today it’s all about headsets and a Wi-Fi connection. This way, the 35-year-old employee hears his picking orders read aloud. Instead of a long part number, Lydia names kinds of fruit, like kiwi, apple, date or mango. "It’s easier to remember and helps you work more quickly and accurately. I know straight away which box I need to fetch for the vehicle parts I need," says Foerster and adds, "I got used to Lydia pretty quickly." Once an order is completed, the logistician confirms this by speaking into the microphone. When doing so, particulars of the language, such as dialects, are no problem for Lydia’s vocabulary. The system adapts. The first time, it may query an unfamiliar word, but the second time it will already instantly recognize the respective term.

And Lydia has plenty of stamina, too: With a battery life of 14 hours, the headset lasts longer than a work shift. Power can be recharged, even during ongoing operation. The headset has an inbuilt energy buffer that lasts around five minutes – more than enough time to change the battery.

 

With pick-by-voice, the logisticians in Wolfsburg are benefiting from a system that has already proved its usefulness within the Group. Audi already uses it successfully at its sites in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm in Germany, as does Volkswagen in Poznan, Poland. Faster, more accurate and ergonomic: 
Pick-by-voice is a further example 
of the successful implementation of 
the "Pact for the Future."