How pick to light systems work to speed up the pick and pack process

Pick and Pack Technology – Pick to Light System

Today’s warehouses are complicated and fast moving environments, and more and more are turning to technology to help increase efficiency order picking with pick to light systemand profitability in these uncertain economic times. The pick and pack process is one of the areas most amenable to technological improvement, as it depends on human operators to move throughout the warehouse retrieving and assembling orders.

Accuracy and speed are the primary goals of any pick and pack operation, and any improvement there is likely to improve throughput for the whole facility. Many ways of automating this process have come forward, including the ‘pick to light’ system, which is currently used in many thousands of warehouses around the world.

The picture opposite was sourced from http://www.directindustry.com/

How does a ‘pick to light’ pick and pack system work?

Most high density warehouse environments use many widely separated picking locations, and efficient pick and pack processes require the pickers to move quickly between locations and to choose fast, efficient routes when picking complicated orders. A pick to light, or ‘light-directed’ picking system generally uses lights above the racks or bins in which the pickers will find their picks. The picker scans a barcode that has been keyed to a particular order, and a light will come on over the correct bin, often with a number to indicate how many units are required. The picker clicks a button or screen to confirm, and if more items are needed, a light comes on over the next bin or rack, etc.

What other pick and pack systems are available?

There are many other options, of course. Voice directed systems explain the location to the picker verbally. On-screen and GPS options can display routes graphically. Verbal systems tend to be slower, though, and graphical systems have been accused of causing a kind of information overload. The biggest factor in choosing a system would seem to be how many pickers your facility uses simultaneously. Too many, and the pick to light system becomes confusing at best and inaccurate at worst.

See the pick to light system at work

 

 

 

 


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