Matthews Lightning Pick automation expert describes new advancements in pick-to-light technology
WAUKESHA, WI (October 1, 2020) — Roberto Michel, senior editor for Modern Materials Handling, has interviewed Matthews Automation Solutions’ Dave Remsing for their September 2020 issue, “Pick-to-Light’s Evolution”. This article focuses on light-directed systems for order fulfillment, including trends on using pick-to-light, put-to-light and new technology combinations for maximum efficiency.
Dave Remsing is Matthews Automation Solutions’ vice president of market development. For over 25 years, Dave has developed successful automation solutions for major brands, with a focus on light-directed technologies.
Here’s a summary of the main trends, advances and improvements Dave shared in the article.
E-Commerce Sized Orders
Rapid e-commerce fulfillment growth has accelerated even faster due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Dave Remsing believes that pick-to-light is ideal for small, “e-commerce sized” orders. Specifically, Dave comments that internet orders tend to average less than 2 items per order, so it takes a lot of labor and handling to fill those small orders without automation like pick-to-light or put-to-light.
Core Flexibility Enables New Advances
Dave observes pick-to-light is being deployed in increasingly varied – and mobile – ways; some examples include mounting lights on carton flow racks or pallet positions in addition to traditional locations on shelves. Put walls are now being used in combination with other forms of automation, such as automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS).
Many operations are also implementing mobile, light-directed picking carts or sleds, where the items in the order are put directly into the corresponding order container or bin on the cart, rather than having to sort or consolidate items later.
These hybrid-type automation systems are increasing in number because they allow for more flexibility in fulfilling high volumes of small orders.
Further, some distributors are exploring cloud-based deployments of pick-to-light software to circumvent maintaining a server on site.
Fully Lighted Locations and Rolling Put Walls
The article mentions a pick-to-light feature that has evolved recently: LED lights that illuminate an entire cubby on a pick or put wall, in addition to illuminating the standard pick-to-light module. This larger illumination space means extra visibility, resulting in higher productivity and accuracy.
Also, Dave describes applications using multiple, dual-sided put/pack walls are now adopting rolling put wall sections that can be moved to unloading and pack out locations quickly and easily. Put operators who finish putting before the corresponding pack operator has finished can quickly detach and move the finished put wall to a different pack out area for processing, eliminating bottlenecks. Overall efficiency increases with this approach because the putting operator can continue to work rather than having to wait for the unloading operator to catch up.
“Decoupled, mobile put walls allow an operation to do a much better job of balancing the workflows,” says Remsing.
For more information, the entire “Pick-to-Light’s Evolution” article can be read here. Or, contact Lynn Drewicz, Marketing Manager, Matthews Automation Solutions at [email protected], 262.250.2169, or visit matthewsautomation.com.
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ABOUT MATTHEWS AUTOMATION SOLUTIONS
Global brands partner with Matthews Automation Solutions to increase distribution and order fulfillment speed, accuracy and efficiency. Matthews’ broad portfolio of best-of-breed solutions—including leading material handling automation brands Compass, Lightning Pick and Pyramid—offers warehouse execution software, controls, pick-to-light, put walls, order finishing systems, autonomous mobile robots and more. Combined with 25 years of industry experience and proven integration with other material handling systems, Matthews delivers agile and scalable applications throughout the supply chain. Matthews Automation Solutions is a Matthews International company, servicing customers from two North American locations.