Split Case Order Picking
Split Case Order Picking has several different names, such as Each Picking, Piece Picking, or Break Case, but it always involves the selection of individual units for packing into a carton or a tote.
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There are many different technologies used to drive efficiency and accuracy, and there is no one technology that is best for all types of split case picking. We design a number of different systems which includes:
Pick to Light (PTL) systems are comprised of lighted displays attached to the pick face of each SKU in the picking area. Although it isn’t always necessary, the picking area is usually divided into zones with a different picker assigned to each zone.
The picker scans the order ID. Then, the system directs the picker to the item location and assigns the quantity to be picked by lighting digital displays. The picker follows the digital displays and places items into the order container. The picker then presses the button on the display to confirm that the order is correct. The system records what is picked into each container.
PTL systems are used to select discrete orders about 1-4 SKUs at a time. The best use of a PTL system is to pick random SKUs within an order. SKUs are stored with one SKU per location on a rack, shelving, and/or carton flow rack and picked into a discrete order by the picker. PTL is most effective with a small to medium number of SKUs which is about 500-5000 SKUs.
Put to Light (PTL) systems are used when most of the orders receive at least one unit of each SKU being processed. It can provide much higher productivity than a picking system if set up properly for the right order profile. It is typically used for pre-allocated inventory that gets pushed to the customer this usually occurs in the Omni Channel Retail environment.
Order containers are placed on tilted shelving which can be 1-3 levels high with one order in each location. SKU cartons are opened and passed one at a time by all the orders on the shelving. The SKU ID label is scanned, and the displays under the order indicate the number of units of each scanned SKU that is required for the order. The “Put” operator pushes the confirm button on the order display to confirm he placed the right number of units of that SKU in the right order.
Voice Technology can be used similarly to Pick to Light technology. The picker wears a headset. First, the system voices instructions to the picker. The picker voices each action back to the system to confirm the instructions. The picker interfaces with the system without ever looking at a screen or piece of paper. With his eyes up, he is able to quickly move between tasks. Voice Technology is used in almost any type of picking operation. It can also be used in conjunction with technologies like Pick to Light in order to capture unique information such as lot codes or serial numbers for the SKU or the order.
Radio Frequency Systems
Radio Frequency (RF) technology is one of the most flexible and accurate mode for order fulfillment. RF provides a real-time interface with the picker. It can integrate a hand or ring scanner so that locations or SKUs can be verified. It can capture other information like lot code, date code, and expiration date on every pick for 100% checked orders.
Goods To Person
Goods to Person (GTP) is the most ergonomic technology that Conveyco is able to integrate into order fulfillment solutions. Miniload or shuttle ASRS is used to bring SKU containers to stationary operators. The picker maintains a stationary position with little stooping or reaching. This technology is best suited to high volume operations.
When considered for new construction projects, GTP can have an exceptional ROI by using much less square footage and saving construction costs.
Conveyco has developed hybrid GTP solutions where traditional pick lines are used to pick from a fixed number of SKUs. We use ASRS to dynamically select appropriate SKUs for each order. Because ASRS technology uses overhead space more efficiently, it requires less space and the picker spends less time traveling.