Human-centred design meets German engineering
ProGlove has announced a $40 million investment from global growth equity firm Summit Partners. The company plans to leverage this funding to expand its international footprint and support its mission to connect the human workforce with the industrial Internet of Things (IoT).
Founded in 2014, ProGlove offers a scanner glove designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of scanning processes used across the manufacturing, logistics, transportation and ecommerce/retail sectors. ProGlove’s products are integrated into the factory and warehouse floor processes at some of the world’s most renowned brands including Audi, BMW, Bosch, Daimler, DHL and Lufthansa Technik.
The company’s smart glove provides an ergonomic, hands-free barcode scanning solution that helps workers increase productivity and optimise workflow. While traditional handheld scanners tend to be unwieldy and bulky, the small form factor, lightweight, wearable design of ProGlove’s scanner unit allows users to reduce scanning time by up to four seconds per scan.
In a warehouse or on a factory floor, this reduction represents an improvement in scanning efficiency of as much as 50% for some ProGlove customers. Additionally, the company’s smart glove provides direct feedback to the user via optical, haptic and acoustic signals, helping to eliminate mistakes and improve overall process quality.
“Organisations seeking to maintain a competitive edge in the era of Industry 4.0 must rethink and reinvent the way in which humans and machines interact. Wearable devices acknowledge the importance of enabling a smarter, more effective worker in the industrial IoT environment,” said Andreas Koenig, CEO of ProGlove. “Industrial wearables define the future of assembly, production and logistics processes. Our smart wearables are designed to function as a natural extension of the workers’ tools, strengthening the role of the human in today’s automated world.”
ProGlove got its start after earning recognition in Intel’s 2014 ‘Make it Wearable’ challenge. Following an initial product development phase, ProGlove began commercialising its scanner glove in 2016 and quickly amassed a number of industry accolades and an impressive roster of customers. Today, the company operates on a global scale, serving more than 500 customers around the world from its offices in Munich, Germany and Chicago, Illinois.
“The market for industrial wearables is large and rapidly growing, and we believe ProGlove is well-positioned for continued growth as manufacturing and shipping processes increasingly depend upon smart scanning solutions to optimise productivity,” said Johannes Grefe, a Principal at Summit Partners who has joined the company’s Board of Directors.
“At Summit, we focus on partnering with companies that have the team, technology and vision to define the categories in which they operate. We believe ProGlove’s customer-centric approach to product design presents a significant opportunity to empower the human worker while increasing workplace efficiency,” added Dr. Matthias Allgaier, a Managing Director at Summit Partners who has also joined the ProGlove board.
“Our goal is to recognise and enable the value of human involvement in today’s increasingly automated industrial environment,” added Thomas Kirchner, Co-founder and Vice President Product at ProGlove. “We’re excited to work with Summit to expand our global reach and bring the industrial IoT to the human workforce on an international scale.”