Over the last decade warehouse activities have come under the microscope when analysing company profitability and cutting unnecessary costs. With the emphasis on making the warehouse as efficient as possible, implementing automated picking technologies to streamline processes will be vital for businesses in the coming years.
Technology has given us some excellent options for automated warehouse picking, increasing accuracy, productivity and flexibility.
Depending on your order volumes there will be certain solutions that optimise your warehouse operations. Small inefficiencies can create huge lags in the productivity of your warehouse. Choosing the right order picking strategy will be totally dependent on your business needs.
Person to Goods item picking is accomplished by directing staff to varying locations within the warehouse for order fulfillment. Whilst a more traditional approach, imio-WMS-Pick can offer the following solutions to help increase productivity, optimise space, ensure faster fulfillment, improve accuracy and deliver higher customer service levels, whilst utilising this method.
Voice-directed picking is a voice-operated, paperless picking system, which can help accuracy and efficiency whilst also assisting manual processes.
RF-directed picking is again a paperless system that utilises mobile radio terminals. These radio terminals have user interfaces that show employees the shortest routes for order processing. This method often adds speed and accuracy to low-volume picking processes.
Pick-to-Light systems use light displays to direct operators to specific stock locations, often with the benefits of maximising order picking by boosting accuracy and productivity.
Goods to Person (GTP) picking ensures items are automatically retrieved, conveyed and delivered to a workstation, where they are then manually picked. This picking method aims to reduce or remove the travelling time between pick locations. These solutions are normally used in conjunction with a method from the last section, but deployed on a much smaller scale. imio Software Solutions has an extensive range of GTP systems including:
This picking product range enables flexible, energy-efficient storage and retrieval systems.
These systems automatically store and retrieve cases, totes or trays, which provides compact storage of goods and immediate access benefits.
Order picking with Robotics is the latest concept in picking technology, which is supporting many distribution centers and fulfillment centers with flexibility, scalability and reduced reliance on temporary labour pools
Order picking AGVs is the latest concept in picking technology, which is supporting many distribution centers and fulfillment centers with flexibility, scalability and reduced reliance on temporary labour pools
Carousels are a high performance order picking technology option, as long as they are matched with the appropriate operations needs and applications.
A fully automated system will pick full orders ready for dispatch. They tend to be highly specialised for a case with limited flexibility, but can help warehouses maximise large labour costs and allow for much higher pick rates.