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ORDER PICKING TECHNOLOGY

Pick to Light, Voice Directed, Put to Light, Pick to Light Carts, Voice Put

This page covers a variety of state of the art order picking technologies driven by voice and pick to light. Other order picking technologies are covered in different pages.

See also Portable Terminals and AS/RS Systems.

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Pick to Light Systems

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Pick to Light systems set the standard for high speed picking and accuracy. They are particularly well suited for picking larger and high-density orders because of the visual advantage of seeing several lights lit in a small area. Pick to light systems do not fare as well with lower density picking environments, and they can create errors when orders are batched together in a tote. This occurs because since totes are constantly on the move on conveyor, and the picker must put to the right compartment of the right tote. A careful scientific analysis of your orders should be done to determine if a pick to light system is appropriate for your application.

If you need help evaluating this technology and/or selecting a vendor, click here.

Vendor Links:

Voice Directed Systems

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Voice directed logistics is one of the hottest and fastest growing areas of technology in distribution today. There is good reason for this. Voice technology is cost-effective, highly accurate, and extremely flexible to adapt to business changes or spikes in activity. Voice is almost always faster than RF-based systems, and sometimes faster than technologies like pick to light. An advantage voice has over pick to light, is that it is more scalable - that is - you can add as many pickers as you need. Pickers can concurrently pick in the same zone, the same bay, and even from the same location at the same time. You can not do this with pick to light. It is important to conduct a careful scientific analysis to determine if voice is right for your operation.

If you need help evaluating this technology and/or selecting a vendor, click here.

Vendor Links:

Put to Light

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Put to Light uses the same technology as pick to light, but reverses the process. Product is PUT to an order by lights rather than picked from a location. Two major types of put systems exist. The first is for environments with fast moving product that is common to many orders. Here, the product is scanned, and then all orders wanting the product are lit up, along with the quantity requested. Another type of put system is known as a "consolidation system". Here, partial order requirements arrive in a vehicle (usually a tote). The tote is scanned, and the system then tells the operator which order has requested those partial requirements. This method is used when some requirements are selected at different times, or just the opposite - when you need speed in getting the order together (known as parallel picking). In a parallel pick environment, all components are picked at the same time by several different pickers, and the components are then brought together by the consolidation system. When all requirements have been consolidated, the system knows this and asks the operator to close out the order.

Put systems can save substantial labor if deployed properly. Note that order consolidation can also be done by AS/RS Systems such as Carousels and can be done by RF Terminals or Voice Terminals as well.

If you need help evaluating this technology and/or selecting a vendor, click here.

Vendor Links:

Pick to Light Cart

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A pick to light cart permits the operator to batch several orders together at once. Picking can be directed by an RF display or a display on the cart. Putting is directed by lights, one under each order found on the cart. A pick to light cart can be an advantage if you have high product commonality - that is one product is frequently distributed to more than one order. The reason is that after the pick is made, the product can be "dealt" out to several orders simply by locating the lights and putting the quantity specified to each order.

Put carts can also be operated with RF Terminals or Voice Terminals as well.

If you need help evaluating this technology and/or selecting a vendor, click here.

Vendor Links:

Voice Put Cart

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A voice put cart is identical in function to a Light driven put cart (above). Voice carts can actually be faster in low commonality environments where each pick goes to exactly one order. The reason, is that the operator has both their hands and eyes free and can listen to the next put location while they are placing the product from the last pick. This means that when they turn around they already know where they are going. Voice systems also take less energy and are a little bit less expensive on an operator basis.

Put carts can also be operated with RF Terminals or Pick to Light as well.

If you need help evaluating this technology and/or selecting a vendor, click here.

Vendor Links:

Copyright 2006, 2wmc.com Consulting Group, Inc. - All Rights Reseved
No portion many be copied or reproduced without express written consent.
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