Automated warehouse picking uses special systems and robotic technology to assemble and package goods in the warehouse. So what is automated warehouse doing:
- Increases the speed
- Increases the accuracy of the order picking process
- Reduces errors
- Shortens the time from order to product delivery
Definition of Automated Warehouse Picking
Automated Warehouse Picking is a process for assembling and packing goods in a warehouse without the need for human intervention. It includes the use of:
- Robotic systems
- Automatic cranes for handling goods
- Smart robotic warehouse picker for assembly and packaging
- Data management programs and systems to monitor and optimize the process.
The first Automated Warehouse Picking system emerged in the late 20th century. At the peak of industrialization, when companies began looking for new ways to increase the efficiency and speed of assembling and packing goods. One of the first solutions was the use of automatic cranes and storage systems that greatly reduced the time it took to move and find the right products.
Different Types of Picking
We will now see some of the basic automated picking processes below. Check out this brief list:
Wave Picking is a method of order picking in a warehouse in which orders are grouped by:
- Product categories
The collected orders are then divided into several “waves” or stages to simplify the assembly and packaging process.
In Wave Picking, warehouse employees receive a list of orders for each wave, and then are sent to the warehouse to assemble goods from the appropriate sections. Once all items for the current wave are assembled, they are sent to be packed and ready for delivery.
A special feature of Wave Picking is that this method greatly reduces the time and cost of assembling orders. It also provides better organization and management of the process, allowing warehouse employees to work more efficiently and accurately.
Wave Picking can be especially useful for e-commerce companies. As it allows them to process a large number of orders and optimize the picking and packing process.
Batch Picking is a method of order picking in the warehouse in which an employee picks multiple orders simultaneously, selecting the necessary items for each order in one go. This method allows you to significantly reduce the time spent on moving through the warehouse and increase work efficiency.
With Batch Picking, orders are grouped into batches based on location in the warehouse, and goods for each order are picked simultaneously. For example, the warehouse has multiple orders that contain the same item. An employee can collect all of the items for those orders at the same time.
This allows warehouse employees to pick more orders in less time and reduce the time it takes to move items. Batch Picking is especially useful for warehouses with large numbers of small orders. In addition, this method can be used to optimize the order picking process in warehouse where there are many orders with a small number of items.
With Zone Picking, the employee only collects goods from a certain zone of the warehouse. A zone can be defined as a single row of shelving or a section of the warehouse. When items from each zone are picked, they are pieced together to complete the order.
A special feature of Zone Picking is that it allows you to divide the order picking process among several warehouse employees. Each of which works only in their own zone and thinks about how to be a faster warehouse picker. This increases labor productivity and reduces the time spent moving between different areas of the warehouse.
Zone Picking can be particularly effective when the warehouse holds large volumes of goods and orders contain only a small number of items from different zones.
Overall, Zone Picking is an efficient and flexible order picking method that can be optimized for different types of warehouses and orders.
With Discrete Picking, each order is picked separately and independently from other orders. Each warehouse employee receives a list of orders and picks items for each order in turn.
Each order is assembled separately, which ensures the accuracy and reliability of order picking. Warehouse staff can use barcode scanners to track the assembled items and make sure that all items have been correctly selected and placed in boxes for delivery.
Employees do not need to move around the warehouse to pick multiple orders at once. Instead, each employee picks items for one order at a time, which significantly reduces the time it takes to assemble orders.
Discrete Picking is widely used in many industries like e-commerce, logistics, and manufacturing. It provides high order picking accuracy and allows warehouse employees to complete their tasks quickly and efficiently, which is essential for any niche.
Automated Warehouse Picking Systems
The automated warehouse picking systems are automated systems used in warehouses to assemble and pick orders. Such systems:
Significantly increase the speed and accuracy of the picking process.
Significantly reduce labor costs.
There are several basic types of warehouse automated picking systems, which include:
- Voice Picking
- Vision Picking
- Robotic Picking
- Tablet/Mobile Picking
Each type has its own unique benefits and is suitable for different situations and types of case picking in warehouse. For example, Pick-to-light systems are particularly effective for picking orders with a large number of SKUs, while Voice Picking is most useful for warehouses where employees must use both hands to move items. In what follows, we’ll take a closer look at each type of fully automated warehouse Picking Systems in more detail and find out their features and benefits for your business, regardless of industry or niche.
Pick-to-light (PTL) is an automated order warehouse picking system in the automated warehouse technology that uses light indicators to indicate the location of an item and the quantity needed for an order.
Each item in the warehouse has its own unique LED illuminated label. The system illuminates the corresponding label, indicating its location in the warehouse, when an order comes in for a particular item. The warehouse employee who is picking the order picks the right amount of product and confirms the operation with a button on the LED tag.
A special feature of Pick-to-light is that it increases the accuracy and speed of order picking because the employee receives a clear and understandable indication of the location of the goods and the quantity needed for the order. This helps to avoid mistakes and shortens the time needed to find the goods. Pick-to-light can also be integrated with other warehouse management systems, which improves the efficiency of the entire process.
Voice Picking is an order picking system that uses voice commands to control the picking process. This technology streamlines the order picking in warehouse process and increases the productivity of warehouse employees because it frees them from having to use scanners or carry around tablets or computers. Instead, employees need only say the numbers or names of the items to be picked and the system will provide them with information on item location and quantities.
Features of the Voice Picking system:
- Improved accuracy
- Speed of order picking.
Voice Picking technology has an advantage compared to other technologies because it helps employees focus on the task. It eliminates the need for using multiple devices that can distract the person from their work.
It is particularly useful in environments with low-light conditions where, for instance, bar code scanning may prove difficult.
In conclusion, as an order-picking technology, Voice Picking combines user-friendliness with effectiveness producing commendable results in every warehouse it’s been deployed in.
Vision Picking is a computer vision technology that allows the operator to pick products according to the system’s instructions. This system uses a device to read product information and touch screens to display necessary actions. The user receives voice instructions from the system to help him find the right products. The system processes the data collected by sensors and cameras and converts it into voice messages for the operator. Vision Picking reduces errors associated with order picking and increases productivity. The system is used in applications such as retail, logistics and manufacturing.
Vision Picking begins by using cameras and sensors to scan and locate items in the warehouse.
The system then issues signals to take the right item and pack it in the appropriate box. Vision Picking minimizes the time spent searching for the right goods in the warehouse, reduces the likelihood of errors and increases the speed of fulfilling orders.
Robotic Picking, also known as automated or robotic picking, uses picking robots warehouse to perform assembly and packaging tasks. Robotic systems increase the speed of order fulfillment and reduce labor costs.
Robots for picking are usually equipped with sensors, cameras, and other sensors to detect and locate items in the picking warehouse. They can also use machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to optimize the picking and packing process.
Some systems use robotic picking system warehouse to automate the movement of goods in the warehouse. Robots can move goods using conveyors, elevators, or other mechanisms to move goods.
One of the main advantages of robotic picking is the ability to work for 24 hours a day without interruption. All warehouse picking robots can also handle more goods than humans, which increases efficiency. However, robotic picking can be an expensive implementation and requires a high degree of precision in setting up the system.
The Tablet/Mobile automated picking system uses tablets or mobile devices to control the process. Operators receive product and location information by scanning barcodes or QR codes. Item and location information is fed into the system, which then sends the data to the operator’s device. This allows the operator to easily and accurately select the desired product and its location in the automated picking system warehouse.
A special feature of the system is its mobility and flexibility. Operators can move around the warehouse and work with different products using only one device. This simplifies and speeds up the process of picking goods and reduces the likelihood of errors associated with manual entry of information.
Tablet/Mobile Picking can also be integrated with other warehouse management systems such as inventory management systems and routing systems. This allows you to create more efficient routes for picking goods and optimize warehouse processes.
Benefits of Automated Warehouse Picking
These systems can process orders faster than traditional manual methods, resulting in shorter lead times and faster delivery times for customers. They also reduce the likelihood of errors because they can accurately track inventory and ensure that the right items are picked and shipped. In addition, automated warehouse picking systems reduce labor costs because fewer employees are needed to manage inventory and fulfill orders. This can lead to significant savings for businesses, as labor costs are often among the largest expenses for warehouses and distribution centers.
This warehouse picking technology has an advantage compared to other technologies because it helps employees focus on the task. It eliminates the need for using multiple devices that can distract the person from their work.
In conclusion, as automated picking systems they combine user-friendliness with effectiveness producing commendable results in every warehouse it’s been deployed in.
In today’s world, where speed and efficiency are key factors in business, warehouse picking automation is becoming more and more in demand. These systems offer many advantages over traditional methods. Increased accuracy, speed and reduced labor costs. Moreover, there are several ways to implement automation, including PTL, voice picking, vision picking, warehouse picking machine and auto picking, which can be customized to the specific needs of each business. These systems have tremendous potential to improve logistics processes and make companies more competitive. The growth of automation in item picking is not only a trend, but also an important step in business development in our modern economy.