Pick to Light
Pick to Light
Pick to light uses light directive technology combined with the warehouse execution, warehouse control (WES/WCS) system to direct operators to either pick product, or put product from a particular location into a carton or a tote as part of their picking process. It’s also used in put to light applications where for consolidation, staging and buffering, and as opposed to directing the operator by light to pick product, you’re directing the operator by light to put product away into a staging location, and then pulling it by light directed operations.
The point of the light direction is to provide the operator a hands-free environment. So they are completely directed on everything that they need to do via light displays, as opposed to a mobile device or paper or any kind of manual verification. This eliminates manual verification and the operator is hands free increasing their accuracy in every step. They are reducing the time that it takes on tasks thereby increasing their productivity and lowering labor cost associated with the operation.
Benefits of Using Pick to Light
Generally, there are lights for each discrete location, and then there’s a light for a bay or an area of locations. One light provides direction to the operator, “I’m picking this order or batch of orders in a particular area or zone.” And then the discrete locations direct the operator to pick a particular product out of a single physical location. They may pick X number of that product out of a specific location, and that what they pick maybe then distributed to multiple orders that they’re picking in a batch or a cluster.
Pick to light is used to enhance both picking speed and accuracy. If the operator is looking at a piece of paper or looking at a mobile device, there is time lost and the seconds really add up. There is time lost to look at what they’re supposed to pick and also where they are supposed to pick. Then the confirmation of picking from the correct location and quantity is based on a manual verification or a manual scan as opposed to just having a light displayed where they can press a button and say, “Yes, I picked 10, and now I’m putting 10 into this order or these orders.” So you’re eliminating the manual process, the manual verification and/or a scan verification. Pick by light is highly effective in flow rack picking.
Pick to light is also used in conjunction with horizontal carousels, vertical carousels, and vertical lift modules. It’s not just light-directed operation, but the automated storage system is being used in connection with the light-directed operation. So in that environment, you’re looking for slotting particular items in the correct storage systems to get the highest throughput possible while picking product.
ERPs and most WMS modules, particularly Tier 1 WMS modules, do not have the capability to work well with pick to light. This capability is provided through an appropriate WCS or WES. Intek and Minerva’s WMS software suite has full functional capability for pick and put to light and easy to integrate with automated storage systems and ERPs.