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How to plan a Pick-to-Light system

In this article, you will find detailed information on planning a Pick-to-Light system. We explain which criteria play an important role and what data you need for your planning. You can find detailed information on the system itself in the main article Pick-to-Light / Pick-to-Light.

Define your goals

The goal must first be defined for any planning. Nobody builds a Pick-to-Light system without first thinking about the benefits. The economic factors must always be taken into account. The requirements here are very different. Many details have to be considered.

Performance or quality?

Improving performance and quality at the same time is no easy task. No doubt you have often heard sales or marketing slogans like this: "This system will improve your performance and quality by xyz %". But what is really behind it?

Increasing performance and quality are opposites. The more performance you expect, the less quality you will get. Quality requires care and time. Performance needs speed. So these two factors don't really go together 100%. We will explain in detail how a Pick-to-Light system influences both factors in a moment.

Question 1: How do you want to improve performance or quality?

Stationary or mobile?

A Pick-to-Light solution can be installed stationary on shelves or mobile on picking trolleys or other structures. Both solutions use the same displays and are only supplied with power and data in different ways.

In a stationary installation, the permanently installed controllers, which are connected to 230V and Ethernet, provide the power supply and data. The controllers supply the displays via 4-wire cables. In the mobile solution, the displays communicate with the higher-level system via WLAN and are powered by rechargeable batteries. By using the central LUCA server, the batteries can even be changed during operation. A mix of the two requirements is of course also possible.

Question 2: Do you have shelves or order picking trolleys that you would like to equip with a Pick-to-Light ?

The changing staff

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find the right staff. Experienced, long-standing employees usually know their tasks by heart, so that a glance at the picking list or assembly slip is enough to complete the task quickly and to a high standard. But what about changing or rotating staff?

Changing or rotating personnel often face a major challenge when it comes to finding the right storage compartments quickly and correctly and completing order picking. This is one of the most important factors when planning order picking or assembly.

Question 3: How often do your staff change jobs?

Multi-Order-Picking in order picking?

When picking with a picking list, the picker can usually only pick one order at a time. His performance is not particularly high. Although the picking lists are often route-optimized, their travel time through the warehouse is not optimal.

The Multi-Order-Picking method can be a great help here. To achieve optimum results, the same items should appear in several orders. With this method, the picker picks an item and immediately distributes it to several orders accordingly.

Question 4: Is your order structure suitable for Multi-Order-Picking ?

Are you carrying out an assembly at a workplace?

Assembly activities with Pick-to-Light very often involve various additional tasks that need to be performed. If the assembly is simple and self-explanatory, the employee only needs to know which parts are required for each assembly step. This is exactly what a Pick-to-Light can do on a shelf.

If the assembly is very complex and requires further information, drawings, images, explanatory films, additional measuring devices, etc., then a worker guidance system with additional screens and devices must be set up at the workstation.

Question 5: How complex is your work at the assembly stations?

Determine the need

There are many different types of Pick-to-Light / pick-to-light displays. To determine exactly which displays are needed, the requirements must first be roughly defined.

  • If you are sequencing individual parts in an automotive project, then you probably do not need a large number of displays (always 1 piece). A display with an LED and button is sufficient here.
  • When it comes to an eCommerce project, the withdrawal quantities are very relevant. The Pick-to-Light displays need a quantity display.
  • If you need a system for high-performance, high-quality mounting, the displays should also be equipped with access sensors.

So define your requirements and select the right displays. You can find a list of all available displays at Pick-to-Light Hardware.

Question 6: Define the workflow process and determine the types of Pick-to-Light displays.

Define the quantities

If you already know which types of Pick-to-Light displays your workflow process requires, then define the following quantity entries:

  1. Number of displays per display type.
  2. Length and number of sub-profiles for the installation of the displays.
  3. For complex systems, draw a layout to determine the cable routes and number of controllers.

Question 7: How many Pick-to-Light displays and sub-profiles do you need?

We will help you plan a Pick-to-Light system and clarify these questions together with you.

Many years of experience in paperless picking


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