Robotic automation for order picking has increased efficiency for warehouse distribution by four times manual picking rates. In addition to warehouse optimization of inventory, another impact on picking rates is a term called “Hit Rate.”
Order hit rate efficiency is the ability of a single order having more than one item picked from the same shelf being presented at the pick station. Shelf hit rate efficiency is the ability of a single shelf being presented to have items picked for multiple orders.
Which Warehouse Picking Type is Best for You?
Type I Picking Method
With the Type I picking method, each worker relies on a robot to present a single shelf for picking. Robots bring the items to their picking station and present one shelf (or pick point) at a time. Multiple orders can be filled, however, pick rate and efficiency are affected by the shelf hit rate and the order hit rate.
This pick type can be more efficient than pickers going to the inventory shelves with a cart yet there will be 5 seconds or more dwell time between shelf presentations. Many automated warehouses use this solution as it is what is commonly offered by warehouse robotic companies.
Type II Picking Method
Liftians began developing a Type II picking method over three years ago. Type II picking provides multiple mobile shelving units being presented at the same picking station or group, providing multiple pick points for filling multiple orders simultaneously.
With Type II picking, shelf and order hit rates increase with more shelf presentations. Fewer robots are needed to support the pickers and this method also almost eliminates dwell time for the workers since orders are ready to be picked continuously.
We like how Type II allows a single worker or multiple workers to pick from a single pick group. Our customized user interface provides each worker with an easy to identify pick for the orders they are fulfilling.
Type II picking is the ultimate in pick efficiency, surpassing that of many well-known auto storage and retrieval systems on the market today and providing flexibility to scale the operation very quickly.
Today, system software flexibility is necessary as no two warehouse workflows are the same. Pick zones can also be flexible. Most robotic “goods to person” system providers build a solution and provide pick stations based on peak order times.
We can stand up a mobile pick station in as little as 24 hours, giving your warehouse team maximum flexibility to meet demand without the expense and wasted space.