Radio Frequency Picking, also known as RF Picking, is becoming a more widely used technology. RF Picking is best utilized when looking to capture various types of data to optimize your operation. Facilities that require flexibility to quickly change focus based on peaks and valleys in the distribution center or warehouse will best be served by this method of picking.
How does RF Picking work and what equipment is used?
As the name implies, RF Picking requires a Radio Frequency wireless network within the facility. The RF Picking system has a host server that communicates directly with the higher level Warehouse Management System (WMS) or Warehouse Controls System (WCS) in order to send and receive order information. The information is relayed to the RF terminals that warehouse operators and order pickers use to operate either a RF Gun or wearable device.
The RF device directs an operator to the proper pick location and provides the item description and quantity to pick. After completing the order, the picker sends a confirmation signal to the host signal either by scanning the item with the terminal or manually pressing product identification buttons on the terminal. Once complete, the order status in the host is updated and the next order in the queue is sent through the terminal to the operator.
What is the benefit of RF Picking?
Radio Frequency Picking is much more accurate and faster than paper based systems. The system updates pick information in real time as it relays live transnational data to the host allowing for better information on inventory and Order Fulfillment. RF allows for ultimate flexibility in your picking methodology. The same hardware is used for discrete order picking, Batch Picking or Wave Picking. In addition, moving to an RF Picking network is less of a capital investment when compared to Pick-to-Light or Voice Picking is considered.