In this article we will answer the question of whether you can build a Pick-to-Light system yourself. We will use our experience as a long-time supplier to provide you with an objective answer. In doing so, we will look at various aspects such as: Feasibility, problems, economy and the possibilities for it. In the end, however, you will have to make your own decision.
If you are interested in more details, be sure to read our main article on the subject Pick-to-Light : Pick-to-Light. Many other topics are also covered and answered there. In addition, if you have any further questions, please contact us.
We have compiled the answers in the form of a FAQ. Further information on Pick-to-Light can also be found on Wikipedia.
Build it yourself or develop it yourself?
The decisive factor here is what skills you yourself and your employees or colleagues have. Do you perhaps know companies that create Pick-to-Light completely or only supply electronic components? Do you have developers and assemblers available? In the end you have to ask yourself what is more economical? Either to build it yourself or let the professionals do the work?
Do you want to assemble Pick-to-Light yourself?
OK. Why not ? We supply you with the equipment and support you in planning. Please read the article: "How to plan a Pick-to-Light / Pick-to-Light System". Our system is very modular and requires only a few special tools. However, mechanical and electrical knowledge is required for installation. Thus, you can also build a Pick-to-Light yourself.
The question is whether our experienced installation teams work better, faster and cheaper than your specialists who first have to deal with the issue? In the case of self-installation, there is also the question of warranty and guarantee, which we must then deal with separately.
Pick-to-Light develop yourself?
Highly qualified electronics engineers and software developers have been working on the subject since around 1990. The components have gone through several phases of development during that time. In the process, the problem of distributed BUS systems has been tested and certified several times in the laboratories and in practice. As a result, the effort of the last years was already very large. Some vendors have tried to circumvent the real BUS problems and have used the heavily outdated ASI-BUS for this purpose. Unfortunately with only limited success. Our Pick-to-Light software is very professional and very well developed.
For this very reason, we recommend that you "develop" a Pick-to-Light system yourself only if you know exactly what you are doing and have a large team at your disposal.
What specialists do you then need to develop a Pick-to-Light system yourself?
- Electronics technician
- Software Developer
- Specialists for certifications
- Quality assurance
- Repair shop
- Marketing and sales
- ... and many reliable partner companies
Whether you have or can assemble the team, you have to answer yourself. Certainly, the financial aspect must be taken into account. The development of the first Pick-to-Light systems used to take several years. At that time, however, the requirements were not as high as they are today.
As a supplier of various picking systems, we are very open to collaborative and optimized cooperation with our customers. For this reason, your share of possible on-site services can be very high if you wish. This way you can save your costs. Nevertheless, we can of course also deliver turnkey. Just talk to us ...
In another blog soon we will give you a detailed definition of the required and possible on-site services when building a Pick-to-Light system. Therefore, do not miss anything and subscribe to our LUCA newsletter. You can find a form for it below.
Certainly, for small Pick-to-Light systems with a small number of displays, it is possible to create the systems yourself. Simple LED lamps and buttons can control any PLC today. However, the cabling effort is very high here. In most cases, however, a professional Pick-to-Light system is cheaper and more effective. Our displays are professionally developed and work on a BUS system. Therefore a later modification or extension is possible without any problems.
An answer to the question "Pick-to-Light build yourself?" must be answered by each businessman for himself. If you still have questions about this, please contact us.
How can I schedule Pick-to-Light ?
Define the type and number of displays for your process. Tip: You can find the currently available displays here: Displays Gallery.
2) Determine the total length and number of mounting rails to attach the displays.
Draw a layout of the installation and plan the cabling and the number of controllers. Tip: For smaller installations, plan a maximum of 100 displays per standard controller. For large installations, plan a maximum of 400 displays per XXL controller. The cable routes should be as short as possible. We are happy to support you in this.
4. don't forget power supply and network for the controllers!
5. prepare Windows server (also possible as virtual machine).
6. define the process and the interface to your system (SAP, WMS, LVS, production control, etc.).
Can I install Pick to Light myself?
Yes, it is possible. For this you need mechatronics specialists and some tools such as: Crosscut saw for aluminum, cordless screwdriver and standard power tools. If you don't have any specialists, then we can also deliver the equipment turnkey incl. complete installation and commissioning.
How do I do the commissioning of the Pick-to-Light plant?
When your wiring is complete, the system is simply turned on. Nothing can happen. The controllers are equipped with automatic fuses. If everything is correct and communication is working, the small LEDs on the displays and on the controllers will flash. In case of problems we will be glad to help you.
How can I assign the logical storage bins to the Pick-to-Light displays?
This is done very easily via software on the LUCA-Server. If the technical commissioning is successfully completed, all available displays automatically register on the server. Via simple storage location lists (e.g. as CSV: storage location ; zone), many displays can be taught very quickly in a teach-in mode. Smaller installations and changes can of course also be made manually.
Which Pick-to-Light software do I need and how do I connect my system with it?
The LUCA basic software is installed on an on-site Windows server (also possible as a VM). The software controls the displays. There are some standard interfaces to the higher-level systems. Actually you only need to send your electronic picking list. If needed, we develop customer specific interfaces and special process flows.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Your LUCA team
Many years of experience in paperless order picking