SPHERE Automation offers a range of order picking systems ranging from the most basic pick methods to to the most innovative ideas on the market. Our engineers will help you decide which system will best fit your needs while keeping within your budget. We offer over 12 methods of picking so get in contact with us and find out which system will fit your needs and improve the efficiency of your business.
Below are examples of typical order picking systems offered by SPHERE Automation. Keep in mind there are many other names and means in which orders may be picked.
SPHERE understand that every business is unique and with such a wide range of picking methods available it is important you get the right one that meets your requirements. SPHERE offer a range of picking methods including the following:
Top Picking Methods:
1. Pick to Touch: Operators are directed to the correct pick location via a touch screen terminal. Once operators have picked the item they verify the pick on the terminal and will be instructed to the next pick. Most effective when used in conjunction with pick to belt or pick to trolley.
2. Pick to Belt: Primarily used to transport products from storage to the shipping area. Operators are directed to the correct pick location by one of the following: Pick to Voice, Pick to Touch, Pick to Light. Once the correct pick location has been located the operator will pick the product and place it on a nearby belt conveyor which will transport the product to the next stage of the fulfilment process.
3. Pick to Cart: Operators pick items and store them in a cart until they have conducted a full sweep of the pick area.. Pick to Cart is an effective method of picking as it enables operators to pick various items spread over a large area. Pick to cart is best utilized when used with RF guns and pick to touch.
4. Batch Picking: Typical when an operation wants to pick items for many orders at once, then items are placed on a conveyor, sorted and assigned to to customer orders, then packed and shipped.
5. Case Picking: Very typical method of picking for store level orders where full cases of product are picked either per order and palletised or labeled individually for compliance to a receiving company.
6. Pick and Pack: Typical in small to large operations where operators are dispatched to pick orders in any number of methods: paper, RF terminals, voice, etc. Each order is picked individually and taken to pack stations for final pack out and shipping.
7. Pick to Light: Highly effective method particularly where SKU density is high, zones are fixed to allow operators less movement, and very good where small items in bins take up very little footprint. Operator is able to pick and verify the pick very fast and effectively.
8. Pick to Device (RF, Tablet, etc): Many WMS or host systems push orders to wireless devices such as RF terminals, industrial tablets, or other devices. Customers who already enjoy these systems can still gain major efficiencies with SPHERE Automation optimising processes such as product placement/slotting, how orders are pushed (batches, waves, etc.), and how in coincides with the final processes of packing and shipping.
9. Mobile Carts: Mobile carts are used in a variety of picking methods. Typically carts are used for a single operator to easily pick several orders at once and place in the proper box for that order, thus reducing more automation later to consolidate individual orders.
10. Voice Picking: Voice is effective in most operations in piece pick, full case pick, and other operations where RF terminals are already in use or replacing paper based processes. Voice picking is very effective in allowing operators to pick orders without the expense of extra hardware typically found in pick to light methods where each picking area and/or SKU has a light associated.
11. Wave Picking: Wave picking is very rather than orders moving from one zone to the next for picking, except that all zones are picked simultaneously. Each item is sorted later in the process and broken down into each orders or shipment. Wave picking has the shortest cycle time for picking multiple item orders, but also carries more complexity in sorting and consolidation. Great for operations that have majority of orders with multiple pieces going to each box and high shipping volume.
12. Zone Picking: Also called ‘pick and pass’ – this method uses picking “zones” where operators work in specific areas for a range of SKUs or product types. Boxes or totes travel on a conveyor and stop or are diverted to a specific zone where an item for that order is stored. The operator scans the tote or box and is instructed which item(s) much be added to the order. Once the items are scanned into the box or tote, the operator inducts it back onto the main line where this process is repeated until the order is completed and staged for final shipping.
Along with SPHERE’s in-house picking software module, SPHERE can offer the most optimal picking solution to suit your needs maximising efficiencies and reducing costs within your order fulfilment process.
The most ideal picking method can vary greatly depending on a number of varying factors such as number of SKU’s, type of product, number of orders, picks per order, picks per SKU. Often a combination of picking methods can be utilised to best optimise your process so contact one of our engineers now for advice on how to best utilise your pickers.