Extensions of the Pick-to-Light system

Barcode scanners, RFID readers, scales and label printers are often connected as extensions to a Pick-to-Light system. In this article you will learn how to connect these devices to the system and what options and functions are available.

Functions of the extensions

In certain complex process sequences of a Pick-to-Light system, additional devices are required. They are used in different ways and basically have the following functions:

  • Manual and automatic activation of orders
  • Recording of serial numbers and batches
  • Weight checks in order picking
  • Label creation

Paperless picking does not necessarily mean working completely without paper. The picking itself is actually paperless.

Activation of the orders

The Pick-to-Light can be used for many purposes. These include: Picking, sorting, assembly, packing, etc. Orders are often activated by reading the barcode or RFID tag. Delivery note, invoice, article or assembly instruction are very suitable for this. The barcode or RFID tag contains the order number, article number, production number or delivery note number.

The scanners or RFID readers deliver the read data directly to LUCA-Server, which is then responsible for activating the orders. The server prepares the data and then controls the individual Pick-to-Light displays.

Recording of serial numbers and batches

Especially in order picking, the recording of serial numbers or the checking of batches is very common. Here, mobile hand-held scanners are often used.

In this case, the serial number of the devices or parts is recorded for each removal from the storage compartment and forwarded to the warehouse management system with the confirmation of the removal. Likewise, the forwarding of the batches or even the comparison of the specified batches is carried out during order picking with Pick-to-Light .

Weight control in order picking

For perfect quality assurance, a weight check of the picked items can also be carried out directly in picking. At the beginning of the picks, the tare weight of the carton or tote is recorded first. With each item, the system checks the weight increase of the consignment. If the weight is correct, the next item can be picked.

However, the prerequisite is that the articles are weight-stable and the master data is correct. Weight control directly in picking increases quality, but has a disadvantage. It reduces the picking performance. Learn more about this extension in a separate article on Pick-by-Weight.

Label printer

Small label printers can also be connected to a Pick-to-Light system. Depending on the process and mode of operation, the system controls the direct creation of labels.

This can be used, for example, for label marking of items or cardboard boxes. The picker can also mark them directly when folding the cartons manually.

Connection of the extension units to the Pick-to-Light system

Depending on the type of unit, we have various options for connecting to the Pick-to-Light system.

Connection of the wired hand-held scanners

The wired scanners are very often connected directly to the LUCA-Server via a workstation PC or network. USB interfaces are often used on the PC. A direct connection of the wired scanners to the network is often achieved by using ComServer. However, the RS232 interface is used here.

The USB and RS232 devices can also be connected directly via the controllers of the Pick-to-Light system. PC or ComServer are therefore not absolutely necessary for this.

Use of radio scanners

Radio scanners are often used in stationary Pick-to-Light systems. These mobile devices allow employees more freedom of movement and flexibility at the workstations.

Modern wireless scanners have a direct WiFi connection to the network. Some models have charging stations with LAN, USB or RS232, which in turn are connected to the Pick-to-Light system (as described above), just like wired scanners.

RFID reader

Simple RFID readers are connected in a similar way to the wired scanners. Instead of a barcode, the RFID readers read the information from the RFID tags. Depending on the type of use and solution, the items, picking trolleys or other markings can be read here.

The interesting thing about RFID is that the tags can also be written on. This means that information is also transported directly with the tag. This application is especially useful in production.

There are many models on the market that are suitable for this use. If you have any questions, please contact us. We will help you.

Connection of the scales

The scales are often very precise and are used stationary. This makes it best to connect the scales via PC, LAN or ComServer.

Integration of the label printers

Label printers are usually connected to the Pick-to-Light via Pick-to-Light controller, PC or LAN. The use of mobile label printers (WiFi) is possible without any problems. The LUCA-Server always controls the label printers.

Conclusion

The Pick-to-Light system can be expanded to include other different devices. Depending on the process and function, scanners , RFID readers, scales and label printers can be connected. If required, we can also develop interfaces to special devices for you if we do not already have them. Talk to us about this.

Many years of experience in paperless order picking

Pick-to-Light