Light-directed order fulfillment systems use light indicator modules mounted to shelving, flow rack, work benches, pallet rack or other storage locations. Whenever product is needed from a particular location, the right indicator turns on, drawing attention where action is required. The operator picks the product quantity displayed. The operator then confirms the pick by pressing the lighted button.
By lighting the exact location or locations needed, pick-to-light is acknowledged to be the fastest operator-based picking strategy available. In the time it takes to hear and interpret a location number or read a location number from a pick list of an RF terminal screen, the pick-to-light operator is already making the pick.
By getting the operator to the right location each time the picking process is greatly simplified. Task simplification and replication produces accuracy.
No more pick sheets to handle and tally marks to record. Pick-to-light operators simply scan an order number on the carton or tote and the system does the rest. Paperless picking reduces costs, reduces errors and streamlines operations.
Other computer-based solutions like RF terminals and voice terminals are sequential in nature. The equipment is only capable of showing what the computer thinks should be the next pick. In a pick-to-light system ALL locations required in an area light up at once. This allows the operator to choose the best pick path and even pick in both directions.
Operators work in assembly line fashion. Each worker’s area is called a zone. Orders are passed from zone to zone on a conveyor, cart or other transportation mechanism. This assembly line approach further enhances productivity by reducing walking.
Pick-to-light has been around for nearly 20 years. Originally, only the largest facilities with the fastest processing requirements could afford it. Recent advances in technology and the advent of Windows-based computer systems have brought the cost within reach of nearly all order fulfillment operations.
“During peak times with the older paper-based picking method, all we could do is add labor to get orders out the door.
Lightning Pick light-directed method can flex with the seasonality of our customers’ direct selling business.
We can easily adjust work plans and staffing based on the order volume demand, and Lightning Pick balances the work load though the Pick-to- Light zones for maximum productivity.”
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