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 which data you need for your planning. Detailed information on the system itself can be found in the main article Pick-to-Light / Pick-to-Light.

Define your goals

In any planning, the goal must first be defined. No one builds a Pick-to-Light plant without first thinking about the benefits. The economic factors must definitely be taken into account. Here, the requirements are very different. Many details have to be considered.

Performance or quality?

Improving performance and quality at the same time is not an easy task. Surely you have often heard the sales or marketing of such advertising slogans: "With the system you 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 needs 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 set up stationary on shelves or mobile on picking trolleys or other constructions. Both solutions use the same displays and are only supplied with power and data differently.

In a stationary installation, the power supply and data are provided by the permanently installed controllers, which are connected to 230V and Ethernet. 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 supplied via exchangeable 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 picking trolleys that you want to equip with a Pick-to-Light ?

The changing staff

It is becoming increasingly difficult to get the right staff. The experienced long-term employees usually know their tasks by heart so that a glance at the picking list or assembly slip is enough to get the job done quickly and with high quality. But what about changing or rotating staff?

Changing or rotating staff often face a major challenge to quickly and correctly find the appropriate storage compartments and complete the picking. This is one of the most important factors when planning a picking or assembly operation.

Question 3: How often do your staff change jobs?

Multi-Order-Picking in order picking?

When picking with a pick 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-optimised, his travel time through the warehouse is not optimal.

The Multi-Order-Picking method can be of great help here. To achieve an optimal result, 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 a Multi-Order-Picking ?

Are you carrying out an assembly at a workplace?

Assembly tasks with Pick-to-Light very often involve different additional tasks that have to be performed in the process. If the assembly is simple and self-explanatory, the employee only needs the information about which parts he needs for each assembly step. This can be exactly fulfilled by a Pick-to-Light on a shelf.

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

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. In order 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 one 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 and high-quality mounting, the displays should also be equipped with access sensors.

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

Question 6: Define the flow 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 flow process needs, then define the following quantity inputs:

  1. Number of displays per display type.
  2. Length and number of sub-profiles for the installation of the displays.
  3. For complex installations, 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 help you plan a Pick-to-Light system and clarify these questions together with you.

Many years of experience in paperless order picking