With all the chatter on automation and automated technologies and solutions, you have to wonder—what about the people? Where and how do they fit in? People have an immense value in the daily processes of a warehouse operation, and goods to person technology solutions combine the best in both automated storage and picking technologies.
A goods to person system in order fulfillment, can include pick to light, put to light, or pick to voice. This type of system essentially bridges the operator and the product by way of automation and AS/RS (automated storage retrieval systems) solutions. Through these solutions, product is essentially ‘delivered or brought’ directly to the operator to fulfill orders.
In a goods to person technology solution, productivity and accuracy increases, while minimizing human error. This type of solution allows for automated systems to do the heavy lifting, targeting the operator’s interaction to the end-of-the-line functions. Enter ergonomics, which plays a vital role in goods to person. A person’s working environment has a direct correlation to his/her efficiency. Through the design of a goods to person system and by focusing on the operator’s end role to complete orders brought to them by way of AS/RS, generally at a midpoint range of motion, bending and twisting is minimized and injuries are kept to a minimum. Picking up and/or transporting product is reduced as the operator’s movements are limited to those end-of-line picking stations to retrieve orders. Additionally, since product, as needed for picking, is directly transported to the operator, travel time is eliminated and operator fatigue is likely to decrease.
Having the proper tools and material handling equipment and designing a work environment that places the health and safety of your operators in full view will result in a highly productive operation.
It is the people in a goods to person technology solution that will perform these end-of-line order fulfillment duties. And it is the people in your warehouse that bring automation and picking/packing processes together for a most productive and robust operation.
Author: Heather Connors, Director of Marketing, Conveyor Handling Company
How does a goods to person system fit into your facility?