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We are the Motion-Miners GmbH from Dortmund. Making easier for companies to perform analyses regarding efficiency and ergonomics for process optimization.

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Picking Process

Ein Mann in einem orangenen Overall kommissioniert Ware. Er hat eine Packung Pinsel in der Hand.

Analyze picking process: Definition

Optimize picking process - What is meant by a picking process?

A picking process (analyze) is understood as the order-related collection of certain individual quantities (goods) within a provided total quantity (assortment). This can be a classic customer order or a production order. The order picker, picker or gripper is the person who records an order.

Differentiation is made according to the origin of the goods:

  • Standard: Picking of goods from a standard warehouse
  • Optimized: Goods withdrawal from a picking warehouse
  • Just in time (JIT): Goods withdrawal from production
  • Click and collect: goods withdrawal from a stationary retail store

Optimizing the picking process with Motion-Mining®

Analyze picking process - looking at walking, waiting or picking times.

For the recording of the various activities, the employees wear three sensors during the picking process. Localization takes place via beacons. After a two-week measurement period, the data is analyzed with a highly specialized artificial intelligence (AI/neural network). Individual activities and process steps are displayed in an analysis dashboard (diagrams, heat maps, etc.). For example, walking, waiting or picking times can be effectively analyzed in the picking process. In addition to efficiency analyses, ergonomics evaluations are also part of the measurement results. Ergonomic findings can be put to good use when optimizing the picking process. For example, we can effectively detect more than 50 different activities, including unhealthy postures, and analyze them in the picking process. If necessary, the AI can easily be expanded to include new activities so that the analysis for Optimize Picking Process can be adapted even more individually to the customer.

Ein großes Lager in dem drei Männer zu sehen sind. Zwei schieben die Motion-Mining Messtechnologie vor sich her und einer kommissionierte Ware.

Picking times

Optimizing the picking process - explanation of the different picking times

A key factor in the picking process analysis is the analysis of the picking time. The picking time is crucial for how quickly a customer or the production receives the required products or materials. The picking time is made up of different individual times such as travel time, pick time, dead time, additional time and result in the removal time – each individual time is considered when optimizing the picking process.

Optimize picking process – The base time in the picking process:

Basic time in the picking process (analyze) is the time for organizational activities before and after the picking order this includes, among other things, recording, reading and arranging the picking documents, access to the picking device and delivery of the picking device to a collection station. Research and procurement of supplies such as pallets and picking carts are also part of the organizational activities. There are usually two causes for higher basic time, which are looked at more closely during the picking process analysis: incomplete, hard-to-read, unorganized picking documents, as well as poorly structured provision of picking tools (search, repair, etc. required).

Optimize picking process – The travel time in the picking process:

In the picking process optimization, the path time is analyzed in addition to the base time. Travel time is the time required to cover the distance between two picks. The travel time usually comprises the majority of the total pick time. In the picking process optimization, path time can be reduced in the following ways: Bypassing incorrect path distances due to low local knowledge of storage locations. Increasing the concentration of items (if the “frontal area” per item on the shelf is reduced, the distance between two items is reduced), placing the most requested items at the beginning of the shelf and in the middle of the shelf, combining picking of different single orders for one tour, using picking carts (for long lines).

Optimize picking process – The picking time in the picking process:

When analyzing the picking process, the pick time is also considered. It includes activities such as picking items from the tray, i.e. gripping, grasping, removing, placing the item in the bin, the gripping time depends on the gripping height, the gripping depth, the weight, volume and sensitivity of the removed items, the type of delivery (bin, conveyor), the number of items to be picked and the dead time. Dead time, also called auxiliary time, is considered to be optimized in the picking process and includes: searching for the storage location of the item, forming a break, checking, counting, comparing, performing marking (e.g. entry in storage compartment card). Suitable measures can usually only slightly reduce the dead time in the picking process optimization, among other things by quick orientation thanks to good shelf labeling, processes for automatic counting, exemption from delivery of partial quantities, but only delivery of finished packages.

Zwei Männer in einem Lager schieben das Motion-Mining Messequipment vor sich her. 03

Manual Picking Systems

Optimizing the picking process - fields of application

Considered in the manual picking process analyze picking systems such as, among others, goods-to-man workstation with pick-by-light displays, goods-to-person systems; so-called dynamic provision = dynamic picking, person-to-goods systems; so-called static provision = static picking, procedures for picking, picking by means of picking tickets, picking with pick-by-light, picking with pick-by-voice, picking with pick-by-vision.

Optimizing the picking process – analyzing a picking slip in the picking process (analyze)

Starting from the pick list, which contains the storage location, item number and quantity, the picker takes the specified number and then crosses it off. After processing the pick list, the actual confirmation in the warehouse management system begins. Due to misplacements, stock errors, wrong grips, etc., errors occur in picking, which on the one hand complicate the subsequent processes (e.g. production) and on the other hand lead to inventory discrepancies, now in the picking process analyze measures are developed to avoid these errors. In order to guide the warehouse worker to the right place and to ensure the picking of the correct material, different methods of automatic identification and data collection are therefore used, e.g. picking with barcode scanner shelf storage, barcode, etc., in which direction it goes is determined during the picking process optimize.

In the picking process analyze is also considered, for example, the pick-by-scan method. Here, the picking list is displayed on a PDA. When picking and storing goods, the barcode of the respective product and the barcode of the corresponding storage bin are scanned. In this way, the item and the storage bin are assigned correctly. This technique is therefore also applicable in the context of dynamic putaways. The Pick-by-Scan procedure is also suitable for assigning goods to orders and serves as a control to avoid incorrect deliveries of goods.

Warehouse Navigation

Optimize picking process - picking vehicles

When analyzing the picking process, picking vehicles are also considered. Optimizing the picking process, for example, suggests picking vehicles that recognize the respective rack aisle and its horizontal position in the aisle. Furthermore, the current height of the picking cabin, which can be raised with these vehicles, is permanently determined. This means that picking orders from the warehouse control system are now not only displayed on a terminal (MDE) in the vehicle, but also transmitted directly to the vehicle control system. The vehicle control system determines the most economical destination based on the known actual and target coordinates. The driver of the order picking vehicle initiates the arrival at the destination and is automatically guided to the targeted storage location.

Upon reaching the target location, the picker is signaled accordingly. The feedback to the warehouse management system is done manually. The optimum picking sequence is determined by the warehouse management system.

There are many solutions for optimizing the picking process. Automatically, using motion mining to analyze the picking process and thus quickly and easily optimize the picking process, uncover hidden efficiency potentials and obtain individual measures for your processes.

An einem Lagerhallenregal ist ein Beacon angebracht und im Hintergrund fährt ein Gabelstapler umher.