Comparing picking ways

From my point of view, industrial automation is a theme that directly affects to the employees. Every time, companies operate with less people, an example of that we can see it in Mercadona, a video of a previous post shows how this company works in its warehouses, everything is automated, they don’t need any operators.

On the lower level are semi-automated processes like Pick by voice, Pick to light and RF Scanning (handheld). How does each one work?

  • Pick by voice: The warehouse operators wear headsets and microphones in order to be guided by the system to complete every order. The system gives quantity and location instructions and these must be confirmed. It´s a very easy way to work.

Lydia voice

  • Pick to light: At first, the warehouse operators have to read the bars code and afterwards, lights appear in every slot what indicates the quantity you must pick. When the operator finishes every action confirms pressing the button and the light disappear.

Pick-by-Light

  • RF Scanning (handheld): The warehouse operators have a device  where they can see order position in the warehouse and the units that they have to pick. It’s based on bar codes and the operators confirm every pick by reading. This system is the most widely used by a wide margin.

RF scanning

Now, we have a table where these systems are compared (valuation between 1-3):

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Last warehouse logistics trends show that pick by voice is becoming a great solution and is expanding slowly around the industrial world.  This video shows how it works easily:

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