Automated Order Picking Systems Help Warehouse Operations

Warehouse automation is more common now than ever before. With higher consumer demand and expectations, there is a need for highly efficient and productive processes. (See videos see videos)
To meet fast order and service expectations, a warehouse installed automated order picking systems. This resulted in 80% increased productivity with 44% less labor. Click here to watch how the automated order picking systems work.

Improving Productivity While Reducing Labor

automated warehouse storage machine vertical lift module vlmBefore the transition to automated order picking systems, the warehouse’s stockroom consisted of pallet racks and small, manually operated vertical lift modules. Staff members had to use forklifts, skyjacks, ladders, and manual VLMs to pick parts, which they then carried to the picking areas for packing and shipping. An influx of orders is common in the afternoon, and the warehouse was struggling with putting through 1,000 to 1,200 orders in six hours.
Now the facility is automated with 13 order picking systems, which are grouped in four, pick and pass zone workstations integrated with inventory management software. When an order is received, it’s assigned to a tote with a license plate and placed on a conveyor. Then it’s sent from workstation to workstation, collecting parts in the order.
When the tote arrives at a workstation, the operator scans it. Then, the pick to light technology on the batch station associates the tote with the corresponding light in the software.
With this technique, the operator can pick eight orders simultaneously. Lights on the automated order picking system direct the operator to the exact location and an LED monitor displays how many parts to pick. The operator simply follows the instructions, then moves on to the next part until the order has all parts required from that workstation.
pick pass zone order picking system automated vlm
With the new automated warehouse picking solution, each tray can hold up to 1,100 pounds and is 8 feet wide and 34 inches deep. A larger, heavy-duty unit handles heavier and bigger parts. As a result, the warehouse kept the same footprint in its parts warehouse with an increased storage capacity of 95%.
The material flow system also tracks incoming orders, allowing operators to make real-time changes to the order as they occur. Fewer workers are needed for these operations. Now only five staff members are needed to pick products instead of the previous nine. Even with labor reduction, productivity and accuracy have increased to 99.67%.

Contact Us for Automated Order Picking Systems

Southwest Solutions Group® provides design and installation services for automated order picking systems. We will also provide you with a free consultation to determine your exact needs and specifications before the design process begins. With 50 years of experience in the efficiency systems business, we know how to work with warehouse and distribution center managers to find a tailored automated warehouse picking solution that works for them. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.


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