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30 September 2019

4 Tips for improving part and order picking in warehouses & manufacturing facilities

Shawn Lynch

Shawn Lynch

Sales Manager US Southeast

4 Tips for improving part & order picking in warehouses & manufacturing facilities

In manufacturing circles, the importance of part and order picking have been central to the discussion about lean manufacturing and optimizing the production process.

Today, there are many picking methods currently in use, and making a choice generally depends on the goals you intend to accomplish. To get the best out of the way you choose, you need more than an understanding of what picking by zone or batch is required. The facility manager or warehouse owner must also understand how to get the best out of a picking system to eliminate downtime and maintain order.

Before going directly to the tips you can integrate to improve your picking options, here is a definition of part and order picking. Picking is the act of taking items or materials valuable to the production process and delivering them to a specified location. This also goes for order picking, and the tips for improving this process includes:

The four tips for optimizing part & order picking

Use LED screens

In terms of part picking, the use of batch sheets and signposts to direct the picking process isn’t optimal. Using methods such as this can lead to mixed up orders when there aren’t enough batch sheets. As well as an increased transportation duration when moving materials due to not enough signage.

To eliminate any confusion, the use of LED display screens that beam order requests or a visual system is the way of the 21st century. There is a significant initial investment to implement this, especially within more extensive facilities, but the amount of waste removed far makes up for the investment.

These LED screens can be attached to storage shelves with information about the orders to be picked. When integrated on shop floors, this tip can reduce errors by 40% while increasing the training timeline for new workers by two days.

Pick diverse items with versatile carts

The details and importance of this tip are in the heading. When tasked with picking multiple items or materials for use in the shop floor, having custom material handling equipment is encouraged. In particular, material handling carts that are designed for your materials is ideal. These specialized carts can be designed to support hanging materials, tools, and other heavy-duty items.

An example of a versatile cart is the Kit Cart Q-100-0843. This cart can be used to transport both tools and other materials throughout the facility. This reduces the possibility of accidents occurring because it reduces the number of trips needed to transport the materials. It also makes just-in-time delivery possible.

Set up a hot zone

Setting up a hot picking zone is similar to creating another warehouse inside a warehouse.  The hot zone will be equipped with the most ordered items in the facility and a clear route to this zone which no order material handling equipment will pass.

Identifying these items and creating a hot zone for the orders will be completed quicker. This is because excessive walking time and traffic will be eliminated, and orders can be filled more quickly. The result will be a speedy delivery time and increased productivity across the shop floor.

Consider Automation

We are in the age of the 4th industrial revolution and with it comes automation and the smart factory. Integrating an automated part and order picking system will increase the speed of delivery and eliminate inventory errors. The areas of focus should be on automating the process of ordering items, the material handling system, and the delivery process.

The eQart® is an ideal solution to performing a to b transports within your facility. It has a concise set-up time and doesn’t need any added infrastructure. This makes it the most cost-efficient automation solution for simple transports.

Although automating material handling equipment and the picking process comes with financial responsibilities, the eQart® aims to reduce these barriers. It is leading to an even faster return on the investment made. Automating part picking processes sets up a warehouse or manufacturing floor to handle the increased traffic that comes with increasing demands effectively.

Taking on the challenge of optimizing the part and order picking process comes with its rewards. These rewards include more efficient facility, reduced downtime, and reduced inventory shrinkage. Browse our collection of material handling carts which are ideal for creating a more dynamic part picking process. You can contact us today to learn more about how FlexQube can help you optimize your facilities part picking system.

FlexQube US Southeast sales manager
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