Pick-to-light technology: Lightening the load

Advancements in pick-to-light technology and a variety of new applications have prompted a growth in use and productivity.
image

Use of lights with vertical lift modules (VLMs) and vertical carousels was non-existent as recently as seven years ago, but 85% of today’s units include lights for pick verifications.

By Sara Pearson Specter, Editor at Large
September 17, 2010 - MMH Editorial

As recently as 15 years ago, when pick-to-light systems were gaining wider acceptance, a common application might include some 20,000 light modules spread throughout a warehouse. Such systems were only affordable for Fortune 100 companies and large catalogers, who installed modules without regard for walking distances and pick velocities.

In the past half-dozen years or so,however, warehouse managers have gained a better grasp on light-directed picking technology. Improvements in the hardware—coupled with a better understanding of how an installation of as few as 300 units can make a dramatic difference in picking efficiency and accuracy—have made pick-to-light systems accessible to considerably smaller facilities.

“When it was a brand new technology, pick to light was applied improperly by being applied to everything. No matter whether it was a fast-mover, slow-mover or medium-mover—it was applied to every-mover,” recalls Colman Roche, vice president of sales for KardexRemstar (800-639-5805, www.kardexremstar.com). “Now, users are analyzing their inventory and requirements to determine the most appropriate use of pick to light for their application.”



About the Author

image
Sara Pearson Specter
Editor at Large

Sara Pearson Specter has written articles and supplements for Modern Materials Handling and Material Handling Product News as an Editor at Large since 2001. Specter has worked in the fields of graphic design, advertising, marketing, and public relations for nearly 20 years, with a special emphasis on helping business-to-business industrial and manufacturing companies. She owns her own marketing communications firm, Sara Specter, Marketing Mercenary LLC (http://www.saraspecter.com). Clients include companies in a diverse range of fields, including materials handing equipment, systems and packaging, professional and financial services, regional economic development and higher education. Specter graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky. with a bachelor’s degree in French and history. She lives in Oregon’s Willamette Valley where she and her husband are in the process of establishing a vineyard and winery (http://www.BellsUpWinery.com).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The high-volume warehouse or distribution center that supports B2B, Omni-channel activities, direct-to-consumer shipments, and the Internet of Things all require a flexible and scalable supply chain in order to function at optimal capacity. The problem is that most of today's supply chains are made up of fragmented silos of information that compromise their ability to compete, be responsive to customer demands or seize new business opportunities.

As customers' demands constantly evolve, transportation and logistics (T&L) operations are being put under growing pressure to offer more efficient delivery services, while not compromising on customer service. Using findings from a research survey conducted among transport and logistics managers around the world, this report explores how a combination of mobile technology implementations for mobile workers, and process re-engineering efforts can elevate operations to the next level.

It's a fact - most best-of-breed WMS providers force you to pay every time you require a system change. Uncover five more dirty secrets many warehouse management systems providers don't want you to know. Download the white paper 5 Dirty Secrets of Warehouse Management Systems to discover these hidden truths and gain valuable information on considerations for evaluating WMS vendors.

Not Sure? The Whitepaper "Stay or Switch" Provides the Research Necessary for You to See How Well Your Provider Stacks Up!

Too many companies invest in ERP systems but do not achieve the business benefits they anticipated. Sometimes, the ERP solution never fits the way your people and processes work.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.