The Advantages and Disadvantages of Pick to Light Systems

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Improving your warehouse efficiency and boosting your benchmarks should be your number one priority as a business leader – your supply chain and its optimization are critical to your model and its success, according to cips.org. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of a pick-to-light system in a warehouse. More importantly, how these types of systems increase the work performance of your operators and the overall production of your warehouse. From the choice and price of the lighting system, to their intricate functionality, we’ll dig deeper into this technology and give you expert advice on whether or not it’s right for you.

What are Pick-To-Light systems?

A Pick-to-light (or PTL) system is a type of order-picking technology commonly used in distribution centers and warehouses, explains Mhi.org. The model uses lights and LEDs on shelves, racks or pallets to indicate locations and guide workers in their work.

Overall, pick-to-light systems are known to increase picking efficiency in most warehouses. One of the benefits of pick-to-light systems is how they kick a warehouse into high gear by honing the efficiency of their employees. It’s one of the best systems for processing small e-commerce orders – an extremely important feature given the growth of e-commerce in recent years.

By implementing a fast, visual, and hands-free scanning process in your supply chain, you can extend pick-to-light capabilities and truly jump-start your business and change it to be more optimized and ready to rise. the challenges of tomorrow.

Pick To Light — How does it work?

Pick to light warehouse systems use small indicator lights mounted on shelves, flow racks, pallet racks or other types of storage locations. Each time a product enters the pipeline and is needed for a particular job, the right indicator lights up and draws your workers’ attention to it. The worker then, depending on the systems you use to process and direct orders, checks what he has to do with the product. The worker then takes the product and confirms this action by pressing the illuminated button.

This is one of the fastest ways to lead your crew. In the time it would take a worker to interpret a call, a location number, or to pick a list apart, an order could already be fulfilled through the use of Pick-To-Light systems.

Pick-to-light systems handle most SKUs, but for slower moving, oversized items, an auxiliary or secondary picking process is required.

Advantages of pick to light systems

Let’s get down to business and try to understand the benefits and A lot of advantages of a pick-to-light system in a warehouse – and how they can really boost your metrics and make your warehouse much more streamlined.

Pick-To-Light is fast

By drawing the attention of your workers to a specific location, you streamline your entire operation. This is one of the biggest advantages of these types of systems. It is one of the fastest and easiest techniques to use in your warehouse to improve your logistics strategy.

A pick to light system obsoletes the need to interpret locations or read location numbers or the need for an RF terminal screen. All you need is an operator going through a storage location. The order arrives, your software automatically sends a signal, the light turns on, your operator selects the item, pushes to confirm — DONE!

Precision

Simplification of tasks is just one of the many features of this system and it is further enhanced by its accuracy. Pick-to-light systems are incredibly accurate and can do wonders for your warehouse.

Pick-to-light is paperless

You will no longer need to rely on pick sheets to manage or account for items, let alone track your records or direct actions. Operators simply confirm an order by pressing the pick-to-light button and scan said item not only for instructions on where to deliver it, but also to mark it in the system. Your software takes care of everything else automatically, from restocking inventory to printing labels for delivery. This ultimately reduces costs, errors and improves your entire operation.

Assembly line approach

Your operators, thanks to pick-to-light systems, start working according to an assembly line type methodology. They stick to their zones – Commands are transmitted through the zones by conveyors, carts or other transport mechanisms. Orders are processed faster and productivity is improved by reducing travel.

Pick to light cost

This type of technology has been around for almost 20 years. Initially only an option for businesses with deep pockets, now thanks to advances in technology and software the cost has dropped exponentially making it one of the most affordable systems for running jobs. market orders.

Disadvantages or Pick to Light Systems

Let’s discuss some of the disadvantages of pick-to-light systems.

Additional investment

To really get the most out of these types of systems, you’ll need to invest in auxiliary tools. These tools will help you further automate the process. They include software, robotics, conveyors, etc. The more auxiliary tools you complete your system with, the better it will perform.

Piracy

Another problem with these systems, which with future updates will be a thing of the past, is that they are prone to hacking as well as white noise. This can be avoided by using firewalls and anti-malware software.

small orders

Another downside is that right out of the box, without any auxiliary tools, these systems only work well for small picking areas and close picking areas.

Choose to light applications

For e-commerce, pick to light is an incredible technology to use. It really gives your whole operation a shot of adrenaline and kicks it into overdrive. Right now, costs are going down for these types of systems – the price of light pods can vary between $150 and $250 depending on quantity, bulk orders get discounts, and the light pod used. The technology has dramatically reduced the cost of pick-to-light systems and overall shortened the return on investment for its implementation.

Last update: January 26, 2022

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