It’s the dream of every warehouse and distribution center manager: Fulfilling parts orders faster without becoming inefficient. So, how is that lofty goal achieved? Much more simply than you might think.
There are two key ways to create greater fulfillment efficiency in your warehouse, distribution center or factory floor:
Replace Paper Pick Lists with Visual Devices, such as a Light-Directed Picking System.
A paperless pick-to-light solution uses visual cues to increase both picking speed and efficiency. A pick-to-light system can be used with static storage such as pallet racks and shelving, or with automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) such as vertical lift modules (VLM), or vertical or horizontal carousels.
Not only do pick-to-light systems show the picker which items to pick, but they also can indicate how many of each item to pick, as well as other order details. Because of this ability, light-directed picking systems can increase pick rate productivity and order accuracy by reducing the time spent searching for items and looking over paperwork.
Light-directed picking systems employ both hardware and software: Besides the primary indicator device – typically an LED or laser – the system hardware usually includes a confirmation button for the picker to press when they’ve picked the order and are ready to proceed to the next one. What’s more, alphanumeric displays indicate order numbers, handling directions and other instructions, and will acknowledge when the pick is complete.
Implement a ‘Parts to Person’ Method, such as a Vertical Lift Module.
As we all know, the process of picking parts in a shelving, drawer or rack storage system is inherently slow and laborious. These “Person to Goods” based systems involve an extraordinary amount walking and searching, and generally see production rates of 30 to 60 lines per hour, per person. An automated storage system, such as a vertical lift module, employs a “Goods to Person” architecture, which can result in rates of 150 to up to 300 lines per hour per person.
In addition, the age-old system of manually picking inventory can be physically tiring and sometimes harmful or dangerous for the employee. We’ve all seen pickers over-reaching on a ladder or essentially bending backward to get something just beyond their grasp (but not at our own facilities, of course!). The resultant injuries are very expensive, and can lead to lost time, medical expenses, higher workers compensation rates and even lawsuits.
When you want to talk about ways to safely fulfill orders faster at your operation, call used material handling equipment company, Outsource Equipment Company at 877-741-6711. They provide their customers with a consultative selling approach for solving problems in warehouse or distribution operations while offering money savings through the application of used material handling equipment.