Order picking systems for more efficiency

Save space, time and money with ergonomic Hänel order picking systems

Order picking systems are important elements in shipping departments and distribution centers. The systems store spare parts as well as the complete inventory of goods offered to customers. One system can store all the materials and items, in specified quantities, that order pickers will need later to fill customer orders. When it comes to order picking, the "man to goods" principle is still frequently followed, but the trend toward the "goods to man" approach is constantly on the rise.

"Man to goods" means that the employee must walk through the warehouse looking for and retrieving items which are then gathered and packed for shipping at the order picking station. In conventional environments, employees often need to bend over or stretch to retrieve items from shelves, and sometimes even ladders are used. That is not very ergonomic, and the process consumes valuable time.

Automated order picking systems reduce the time needed to find and retrieve goods

With the "goods to man" approach, the automated system brings the specified items to the order picker's retrieval point, thus saving time by eliminating the inefficient "walk, search and fetch" process. What's more, in fully automated order picking systems, robots automatically gather and store the specified item quantities. This increases order picking efficiency and accuracy, while saving time and money at the same time. In one-dimensional order picking, where the employee must fetch all items without using any auxiliary equipment, the space required for inventory storage is enormous. Two-dimensional storage, however, offers better access to goods because order pickers can take advantage of stairs, elevators or materials handling equipment such as hand trucks. These solutions save space, but they are more expensive because of the investment needed to purchase the auxiliary materials handling equipment. 

Ergonomic order picking with the Hänel Rotomat®

The Hänel Lean-Lift® and the Hänel Rotomat® carousel storage system are frequently used in modern order picking environments. They save space, reduce the time needed for order picking, and ensure that employees are able to work under ergonomic conditions.