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The Evolving of Picking: Technologies and Trends for Warehouse Automation.

In recent years, warehouse automation has revolutionized the way goods are handled and moved. In particular, the process of "warehouse picking" has undergone tremendous evolution through the introduction of new technologies and trends.

But what is meant when we talk about picking solution? This is a selective picking mode with the purpose of fulfilling specific customer orders. Generally, two types of Picking solutions are classified - Pick to Light and Put to Light.

In this article:

Pick to Light toward The Put to Light

The Pick to Light guides operators through the picking process, indicating the exact location of items and the quantity needed to complete an order. Similarly, the Put to Light tells operators where to place goods and in what quantity, contributing to efficient workflow in the warehouse picking.

Orders, represented by a list of item references or SKUs (Stock Keeping Units), include the relevant quantities and units. The picking list specifies the type and pick quantity of each item, along with crucial information such as expiration date, customer name, address, or destination within the company. In this article, we will explore the key innovations that are shaping the future of the logistics picking In automated warehouses.

Picking: New classifications

Driven by the evolution of distribution and intralogistics processes, the development of new technologies for the automation of warehouse picking has become more intense and the choice of solutions increasingly complex. Based on these observations, Logistics magazine, in collaboration with LIUC Cattaneo University, developed a research study to investigate what alternative technologies for the automation of materials handling activities are on the market, their current degree of deployment and potential market, and the characteristics to be considered in order to define which solution is the most suitable for a given application context. The classification arrived at includes several solutions, among them we find: Miniload, Shuttle, Compact storage, AGV and AMR.

Miniload

Miniload, is an automated storage and retrieval system for small or medium-sized load units (example: totes, cartons, trays). It consists of a series of aisles with single- or double-deep racking, within which automated machines capable of simultaneous movement along the horizontal axis and along the vertical axis (stacker cranes or AS/RS) operate.

Shuttle

The solution Shuttle is also automatic, designed for storage and retrieval of totes, cartons or trays. It consists of a series of aisles with single- or double-deep shelving and offers the possibility of special solutions, especially for small packages, with the capacity to handle 4 stations.

Compact Storage

Compact storage: is a very compact automated storage and retrieval solution that operates on columns of totes picked or inserted by robots moving on the surface of the upper or lower grid. It consists of 4 main elements: the robots, the aluminum structure, the totes, and the operator station.

AMR

The AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robots) are self-driving vehicles equipped with autonomous intelligence that allows them to recognize their location within a previously stored warehouse layout. These vehicles use a combination of technologies, such as lasers, radio frequency and QR codes placed on the floor, to orient themselves and navigate within the warehouse environment. AMR solutions are emerging as a key element in the context of the warehouse picking, introducing an efficient and autonomous approach to optimize the picking process.

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AGV

5. The term AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) refers to autonomous vehicles that are guided by a predefined navigation system, such as wires or magnets embedded in the floor, magnetic strips or visual signals. These vehicles are equipped with sensors to sense their surroundings and make navigation decisions in real time. Laser sensors, installed at different points along the route, can be used to map the environment, detect obstacles and maintain the correct trajectory. AGVs represent an advanced solution in the context of the warehouse picking, helping to optimize the efficiency and accuracy of picking operations.

FONTE: Dossier Logistica Sistemi automatici picking, ottobre 2023

Here are 5 factors to consider when implementing an automation solution for order picking and order picking:

  • Selectivity (% directly accessible items);
  • Accessibility (To goods in case of plant failure)
  • Expandability (increase number of locations)
  • Scalability
  • Redundancy

In general, automation is all the more convenient if:

  • One has to manage a number of stock references in the warehouse characterized by high management complexity.
  • If you have to set up a large number of orders to be filled daily (more than 100 orders/day), indicative of high labor intensity.
  • If orders are to be processed quickly from the moment they are released, which determines the need for high technological performance as well as efficient picking. The automation solution is particularly suitable for optimizing the warehouse picking And ensure the efficient handling of orders.

Errevi and its warehouse solutions

Errevi offers different solutions to support operators in order preparation. Contact our expert team and together we will design the most suitable warehouse and choose the best solution.

Warehouse logistics solutions
The Errevi Automation logistics solutions are designed to ensure more efficient, flexible and modular work processes, ensuring increased productivity and reduced costs.
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