Disruptive Materials-Handling Solutions: IIoT Pick-to-Light

IIoT pick-to-light devices are the best choice for more than 90 percent of the distribution, warehouse and cellular manufacturing assembly market.
By Thomas R. Cutler

Furthermore, when purchased in the old-fashioned way, pick lights represent a large capital equipment purchase with fixed costs, immobile equipment—a serious detriment with fluctuating inventory—and variable SKUs.

SKU Proliferation Demands Cost-Effective Picking Solutions
With exponential growth in SKUs, the permutations of a given product can be complex. That variety and variability does not need to translate into the design, deployment and maintenance of an effective picking solution. Blumenau insists that hardware components should be modular and user-replaceable, minimizing maintenance and support costs.

Voodoo Robotics' IIoT real-time Web-connected leased pick-to-light devices.
While assembly-line processes can be complex, particularly in food logistics, e-commerce, business-to-consumer organizations, spare parts assemblies and a wide variety of consumer goods distribution centers, all are achieving greater throughput with pick-to-light solutions.

Pick-to-Light and the IIoT
The real test of the claims about pick-to-light were validated when looking at the technology in a service model. When the devices are Web-connected, providing real-time accurate picking data, immediate corrective actions can be made on the plant floor.

Analysis of most warehouse orders will show a Pareto curve, in which a small number of the SKUs being processed account for a large percentage of the orders. These fast-moving items are the "A" parts. Any small amount of efficiency gains in picking these "A" parts will have a relatively large impact on the overall productivity of the entire operation.

Having these devices leverages data with authentic IIoT technology. The old model of only allowing a picker to know if he or she picked the correct product at the workstation is not a system-wide real-time visibility that benefits the entire operation.

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