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Efficient and accurate picking processes are the keys to keeping labor costs down and meeting rising customer service level expectations. Many distribution centers (DCs) and fulfillment operations typically rely on at least one form of picking automation technology to improve their order fulfillment capabilities. Whether you need piece picking, case picking or pallet picking solutions — or any combination of the three — Honeywell Intelligrated offers extensive picking expertise and the technologies needed to deliver the necessary levels of automation in your fulfillment operations.
Piece picking technologies address the most labor-intensive processes found in DC fulfillment operations. From entry-level RF handheld scanners to advanced pick-to-light and put-to-light systems, the following technologies are often the first steps DCs take toward making the digital transformation to increased automation.
- RF handheld scanners — are ideal for lower-velocity SKUs; offer 10–15 percent productivity gains over manual processes with near-perfect accuracy rates.
- Voice-directed picking — delivers an average of 35 percent productivity increases with significant accuracy and efficiency gains to critical fulfillment operations by utilizing Honeywell Voice, the industry’s leading voice-picking technology.
- Mobile picking carts — enable pick-to-cart picking of low-velocity items in distant break-pack picking areas, often utilizing pick-to-light, voice-picking or RF technologies.
- Pick-to-light and put-to-light systems — provide paperless, light-directed fulfillment for improved productivity, speed and accuracy.
Case picking, or the process of picking entire cases of product to fulfill orders, is another labor-intensive, yet essential picking method used in modern fulfillment operations. Depending on the specific speed, volume and throughput requirements, DCs may utilize a combination of case picking and sortation conveyor technologies with palletizing equipment to create optimal workflows. Like piece picking, RF, pick-to-light and voice-directed picking automation deliver significant improvements in case picking throughput and accuracy.
Pallet picking involves the retrieval of full pallets, or specific layers of product from pallets (aka unit load), to be used in order fulfillment processes. To improve the effectiveness of these operations, many DCs are moving away from manual pallet picking (using forklifts to pick from racks) to more automated, pallet-picking solutions that incorporate the space-saving design and throughput gains of an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS). Combined with intelligent pallet conveyor and sortation systems, Honeywell Intelligrated can deliver a fully automated pallet picking solution.
Pick-to-Light Picking Methods