Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Pick-to-light technology: Lightening the load

Advancements in pick-to-light technology and a variety of new applications have prompted a growth in use and productivity.
image

Use of lights with vertical lift modules (VLMs) and vertical carousels was non-existent as recently as seven years ago, but 85% of today’s units include lights for pick verifications.

By Sara Pearson Specter, Editor at Large
September 17, 2010

As recently as 15 years ago, when pick-to-light systems were gaining wider acceptance, a common application might include some 20,000 light modules spread throughout a warehouse. Such systems were only affordable for Fortune 100 companies and large catalogers, who installed modules without regard for walking distances and pick velocities.

In the past half-dozen years or so,however, warehouse managers have gained a better grasp on light-directed picking technology. Improvements in the hardware—coupled with a better understanding of how an installation of as few as 300 units can make a dramatic difference in picking efficiency and accuracy—have made pick-to-light systems accessible to considerably smaller facilities.

“When it was a brand new technology, pick to light was applied improperly by being applied to everything. No matter whether it was a fast-mover, slow-mover or medium-mover—it was applied to every-mover,” recalls Colman Roche, vice president of sales for KardexRemstar (800-639-5805, www.kardexremstar.com). “Now, users are analyzing their inventory and requirements to determine the most appropriate use of pick to light for their application.”

About the Author

image
Sara Pearson Specter
Editor at Large

Sara Pearson Specter has written articles and supplements for Modern Materials Handling and Material Handling Product News as an Editor at Large since 2001. Specter has worked in the fields of graphic design, advertising, marketing, and public relations for nearly 20 years, with a special emphasis on helping business-to-business industrial and manufacturing companies. She owns her own marketing communications firm, Sara Specter, Marketing Mercenary LLC (http://www.saraspecter.com). Clients include companies in a diverse range of fields, including materials handing equipment, systems and packaging, professional and financial services, regional economic development and higher education. Specter graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky. with a bachelor’s degree in French and history. She lives in Oregon’s Willamette Valley where she and her husband are in the process of establishing a vineyard and winery (http://www.BellsUpWinery.com).


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

This complimentary white paper addresses areas of potential benefit to a grocery distributor considering an investment in automated case picking technology.

In 2015, a new era in shipment pricing will go into effect when major carriers implement dimensional ("dim") weight pricing for all ground packages regardless of their size. This complimentary white paper, "Dimensional Weight: Don't Let it Weigh You Down", can help you optimize your packaging operation to minimize the financial impacts of dimensional weight pricing.

Replacing older, less-efficient lift trucks at the right time can reduce your maintenance costs, improve your productivity and, most importantly, save money and maximize your return on investment. So how do you determine the right time to make a new, significant purchase? Download this complimentary white paper for guidance on how to determine the ideal time to replace lift trucks and how planned replacement can benefit your operation.

The prolonged operating hours of automated distribution operations leave limited time for maintenance. For tightly-scheduled fulfillment operations, unplanned downtime not only cuts into slim profit margins, it jeopardizes future business and customer loyalty. Download this complimentary white paper to learn five mission-critical benefits of implementing a resident maintenance program.

Debut of Pharma EXPO plays crucial role in increase.