BATCH PICKING

Batch picking, sometimes referred to as cluster picking, increases the efficiency of distribution center operations by enabling an individual picker to pick multiple orders with one trip through the picking area.

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Our batch picking solution combines the best features of pick-to-light, put-to-light, voice, and wireless barcode scanning technologies into a single cart-based solution that yields significant increases in both the speed and accuracy of piece picking.

System Overview

  • Voice guides the picker through the picking process.
  • Lights on product bays highlight pick locations and display pick quantities.
  • Lights on the cart highlight put locations and put quantities.
  • Wireless barcode scanning is an alternative to light-directed picking to confirm that the right product was picked.
  • The entire process is orchestrated by a tablet PC without the need for continuous connectivity to a host computer.

Features

  • Employs a multimodal picking approach that blends voice, barcode scanning, light directed picking and putting
  • technologies into a single system
  • Works with both lighted and non-lighted product locations
  • Operates without the need for a host computer to control lights on bays
  • Can speak any language
  • Tablet can display images of products being picked
  • Readily scalable to fit both small and large operations
  • Provides fault-tolerant operation
  • Uses cubing information for box selection

Benefits

  • Pickers work in a hands-free, heads-up mode
  • Fast, accurate order fulfillment
  • Easy to interface to customer’s WMS
  • Reduces or eliminates the need for auditing and packing
  • Minimizes travel time in the DC to pick products
  • Flexible reconfiguration to meet changing business needs
  • Easy to learn, easy to use, and easy to maintain
  • Low-cost entry point with incremental expansion path
  • Excellent ROI with short pay-back period

 

PUT WALLS SOLUTIONS

A put wall is a collection of compartments into which products can be placed as an intermediate step in order fulfillment. When used for e-commerce order fulfillment, for example, each compartment contains a customer order. For store replenishment, put wall compartments contain orders for particular stores. Put walls often employ one side for putting products into compartments and the other side for packing completed orders.

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Our put wall technology employs lights on each of the individual put-side compartments to support light-directed putting tasks. Likewise, lights are optionally used on the pack side to highlight completed orders. To fulfill a collection of orders, the required products are first gathered in bulk and transported to the put wall. The individual items are then scanned which causes one or more lights on compartments in the put wall to display the quantity needed for an individual order.

When all of the products for a given order have been placed into the proper compartments, lights on the pack side of the put wall are activated to indicate that the order is ready to pack. Variations in this strategy can be employed to allow multiple workers to complete putting and packing tasks concurrently at the same put wall.

System Overview

  • Put walls are ideal when picking low-velocity SKU’s from large areas.
  • Put walls provide efficient strategies for order building for both individual e-commerce orders and store orders.
  • Optionally integrates with FastFetch’s cart-based batch picking system for gathering bulk products.
  • When the needed items arrive at the put wall, they are scanned and lights associated with the individual compartments indicate which orders require the scanned product.
  • Lights on the pack side highlight completed orders.

Features

  • Employs barcode scanning to identify a particular product and light-directed putting to place the product into the correct compartment
  • Items can be picked in bulk for multiple put walls
  • Can dynamically allocate compartments to orders
  • Supports multiple workers working simultaneously on both the put and pack sides
  • Can process waves with more orders than put wall compartments by reusing compartment that have been packed

Benefits

  • Fast and accurate order fulfillment for e-commerce and store replenishment
  • Paperless operation
  • Scalable and flexible to accommodate changing business needs
  • Easy to learn, easy to use, and easy to maintain
  • Speeds fulfillment by using multiple workers simultaneously on both the put and pack sides
  • Improves throughput by over committing orders to put wall compartments
  • Reduces walking time by dynamically assigning orders to compartments close to the last put location


 

PICK-TO-LIGHT SOLUTIONS

Pick-to-light technology is widely accepted as a means of improving the speed and accuracy of order fulfillment. With a pick-to-light strategy, light modules with numerical displays are placed adjacent to product locations. Picking areas are typically divided into zones, and a picker is assigned to handle all picking tasks within a zone. Zones operate like independent work cells on an assembly line.

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When a tote representing a customer order arrives in a picking zone—often on a conveyor—the picker scans a barcode on the tote to signal that the tote has arrived. At this point, numerical displays in the zone show the quantities of the various products that should be picked and placed into the tote.

After completing a pick, the picker confirms the pick by pressing a confirmation button on a light module. When all picks in the zone are completed, the picker sends the tote to the next zone and inducts a new tote into the zone.

System Overview

  • Uses a light-sensitive proximity switch to confirm picks rather than a mechanical button
  • Optionally supports displays of text and graphics on a monitor within each zone

Features

  • Uses a light-sensitive proximity switch to confirm picks rather than a mechanical button
  • Optionally supports displays of text and graphics on a monitor within each zone

Benefits

  • Fast and accurate order fulfillment
  • Paperless operation
  • Easy to learn, easy to use, and easy to maintain
  • Lights and ancillary hardware can be sealed in water-tight channels for operation in harsh environments
  • Orders can be customized based upon special instructions displayed when an order reaches a zone