Multi-Order-Picking with Pick-to-Light

Multi-Order-Picking with a Pick-to-Light system means that the compartment displays support the picker when picking multiple orders simultaneously.

What is Multi-Order-Picking?

Multi-Order-Picking is a picking method in which several orders are picked simultaneously by one picker. For this purpose, the individual picking orders are combined into a batch on a picking trolley and are processed simultaneously.

When is Multi-Order-Picking used?

If several orders can be served from the same storage locations due to the order structure, the picker can shorten his walking distances and process several picking orders simultaneously. This saves an enormous amount of time and increases picking performance and efficiency.

Problem definition for batch picking

Imagine that there are many orders on the picking trolley (usually 9-16 pieces). You have a pick list in your hand and now you have to find the individual storage bins according to the list. As a picker, you know your warehouse and have no problem finding the storage bins. You will find your place very quickly. Maybe the total quantity is also very well represented in the list.

You take the items out of the storage compartment and now ... you have a problem! The total number of items must be distributed appropriately among the individual orders. So now the search begins.

  1. First you have to read off the appropriate partial quantity on the pick list.
  2. Secondly, you need to read the order and identify the appropriate box or bin on the picking trolley.
  3. Thirdly: From your total quantity, you have to count out the appropriate number of pieces and file them.

All these activities happen simultaneously and require maximum concentration. In the process, mistakes often occur, which are understandable when working for 8 hours.

Use of Pick-to-Light for batch picking

A Pick-to-Light system can be used as a very good aid at Multi-Order-Picking . The software of the Pick-to-Light system is responsible for the entire picking process. There are two variants of support here:

1. Pick-to-Light-Subject displays on the picking trolley

The best method for supporting batch picking with a picking cart is to use Pick-to-Light displays directly on the picking cart itself (Pick-by-Cart) or on an auxiliary construction (Pick-by-Frame). For this, the trolley or frame constructions are equipped with battery, WiFi and displays.

After activating the order, the info display first shows the pick location. After confirming the pickings (e.g. by a barcode scanner), the compartment displays of the individual orders light up and show the appropriate number of pieces directly on the box or container.

The picker only has to distribute the displayed quantities to the individual orders and confirm the storage at the confirmation button.

Set up for Multi-Order-Picking

Before the picking orders are started with the Multi-Order-Picking method, the individual cartons or totes must be positioned on the picking trolley and assigned to the orders. The process is also supported by Pick-to-Light and is therefore very quick and easy.

2. Pick-to-Light Displays at storage locations

If the number of picking locations in a work area is manageable (20-30), the Pick-to-Light displays can be installed statically at the storage locations rather than at the picking trolleys.

In this case, the target compartment in the picking trolley is displayed at the same time as the picking quantity (e.g. "3 - 5" -> three items in compartment 5). The deposit can be confirmed directly at the confirmation button or with a barcode scanner at the deposit tray.

This picking method is rarely used and has so far only been used in the automotive industry. In these cases, the pick quantity was always = 1, so that only the storage compartment was shown on the Pick-to-Light display.

Conclusion

The Pick-to-Light system is very helpful at Multi-Order-Picking : minimises errors, increases performance and enormously ensures the quality of batch picking. The employees are more relaxed and much more satisfied.

Many years of experience in paperless order picking
Logistics and Production 2022
Pick-to-Light
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