Author of the full version of the article: Jan CHOCHOLÁČ, Martin TRPIŠOVSKÝ, Summary and translation: Wioletta Waszczak
Full version of the article available here: The new trends of the picking systems in warehouses_AJ
Picking is one of the most important processes in logistic chains. It is important to reduce errors and increase the efficiency of picking, which will benefit in lower costs of the process.
Manual picking differentiates between two methods: static method „man – goods,” when a worker moves for goods and dynamic method „goods – human”, where the goods required by the worker moves to the assembly point. Authors write about two methods of picking, analyzing their application, advantages and disadvantages. The static method is demanding. It needs use of a warehouse information system. There is also a need to relocate picking zones and also their technological equipment. Communication methods between pickers and the warehouse management system is very important. The „goods – man” picking method requires storage units that are able to be transported smoothly. This condition can be effectively fulfilled only by automation. Workplace parameters are important to achieve the required efficiency of picking equipment.
We differentiate several types of picking, which can be chosen depending on the specific conditions in order to achieve maximum speed and accuracy of the picking processes. Further authors focus on picking types: direct picking (one picking operator works just on one document); parallel picking (few picking operators work parallel on one document);
collective picking (one picking operator or few picking operators work parallel on the group of documents); zone picking (a single document or a group of them is picked in more parallel storekeepers); reverse picking (two picking operators work on one document, one of them follows the predetermined route and the second one follows the same route but in opposite direction); two stage picking (all the picking orders are merged into one picking order, after picking, another group of storekeepers performs sorting of items).
We can divide between several systems of picking, which can be selected depending on the specific conditions in order to achieve maximal speed and accuracy of the picking processes: Classical system of picking (Pick by list), System is based on people who collect products from storage locations on the basis of the picking list for individual orders. Radiofrequency picking, This technique uses RF sensors for recognizing and reading bar codes. The tasks of the sensors are to read the bar code and to transmit the data into the system. Pick by voice, Picking operator receives information about picking to the headphones. The communication consists of a simple dialogue. Pick by light, This concept is based on the data displayed on the screen, which is located directly on the shelf bar or descending shelf. Put to light, Picking operator collects goods for trucks (crates, containers) according to the picking order. The trucks are prepared in fixed positions. Authors suggest in which sorts of products each picking system may be used.
Authors compared five most common used picking systems: Classical system of picking (Pick by list), Radiofrequency picking, Pick by voice, Pick by light, Put to light. There were chosen six criteria, that are the most important for warehouse and distribution centers, based on the experts reviews: productivity speed, accuracy, data capture capability, flexible multifunctional capability, hands free, system cost. Experts assessed picking systems according to the six criteria. Each one of the picking systems was assessed on the scale from “excellent” to “bad”. Pick by list was assessed as the worst system. Systems Pick by light and Put to light are the best in expert’s opinion.
Picking methods and picking systems are very important parts of the logistical processes. With the development of new technologies, the possibilities of applying them into picking process increase. New methods offer better parameters in various criteria, which often result in cost reduction and bring the potential for future development.