Order Picking Systems | Portland, OR
Raymond West is a Portland warehouse automation consultant. We design, install and maintain order picking solutions.
Call us today at (800) 675-2500.
The majority of warehouses in the United States are still using RF or paper based order picking solutions, in spite of the massive performance gains and cost decreases associated with automated picking systems. Just about 20% of storage facilities throughout the country use advanced solutions like voice directed or pick to light systems. These kinds of systems can have a tremendous impact on productivity.
The Business Case For Automated Picking Systems
In many warehouses, picking is a laborious job where a picker gets a physical paper list of directions specifying the products to pick and their specific locations. They proceed to the designated storage slot, review their paper list to identify the number of products they require from that pick face, get the items, scratch the product off of the list, and then transport the products for fulfillment.
Simply moving around a storage facility can use up to 65% of a manual order picker's day as they stride or drive about the warehouse. These antiquated methods make order picking the most labor-intensive function in an average storage facility. Oftentimes, over half of an average storage facility's operating expenses can be attributed to order picking. That number is in fact rising as e-com drives even more picking demand from warehouses.
Practically all warehouses have some picking requirements. Nearly 50% manage a mixture of pallets, cases, split cases and pieces. In fact, less than 10% of all storage facilities across the country manage strictly whole pallet orders. And despite the fact that most warehouses bear massive picking expenses, just 20% have moved away from conventional RF and paper-based picking solutions.
Developments in Picking Technology
In the last 10 years there have actually been fantastic advances in picking technology, varying from IoT+ RFID to enhanced reality smart glasses. The two most extensive and mature technologies, however, are light directed and voice directed picking options. Each has a persuasive use case in certain circumstances, and some storage facilities even use both technologies.
Fully actualizing technology-based picking solutions can be capital intensive. ROI models for picking automation can be powerful. Most projects have a fast payback and can create substantial cost reductions in labor and pick inaccuracies for years to come. A 2018 research study revealed that companies that utilized voice, light or RFID based picking options decreased pick mistakes by an average of 67%.
Pick To Light
Pick to light solutions are perfect for zone picking or high order volume, high speed operations. Racks are equipped with LEDs that indicate selection quantities and locations, and workers tap these lights to validate picks and quantities as they make their way down a pick path.
Light directed systems are less flexible and more costly than voice directed solutions, but implemented properly they can greatly enhance picking speed and accuracy. As reported by MHI, most pick to light applications achieve an average of 30-50% in pick rate performance.
Voice Picking System
Voice picking solutions are perfect for storage facilities that stock a more extensive selection of SKUs spread across larger buildings. Employees can move about a storage facility hands-free--they don't need to carry a portable device or sheet of paper.
Picking instructions are communicated by the warehouse management system through an earpiece or headset, and the order-picker answers verbally to verify each pick. There is no device to carry, no screens to view, no barcodes to scan, and no confirmation buttons to click. The entire procedure is performed through voice commands and verbal confirmation.
Order Picking Automation Systems Near Me
If you would like more information on order picking technology for your operation, call a Raymond West automation specialist today!
Raymond's Portland service operation includes all of Western Oregon and Southwest Washington, including Portland, Beaverton, Tigard, Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Sherwood, Tualatin, Wilsonville, Oregon City, Gladstone, Clackamas, Milwaukie, Happy Valley, Gresham, Troutdale, Woodburn, Salem, Vancouver, Ridgefield, Longview, Kelso and surrounding areas.
3148 NE 181st Ave
Portland, OR 97230