Pick to Light or Pick to Sound – Which is Right for You?

If you’re thinking about upgrading your order filling department, you have more than one choice to make. For example, many businesses choose a pick to light automated order picking system. However, a pick to sound method may serve your business better. Here is information on both systems to help you with your decision.

Picking with Light

Here is how a typical pick to light method works. The order picker scans a printed out code which includes all the items in a specific customer order. Each product has assigned storage media on a shelf (or in a bin) with a corresponding light. The light includes the order number, and when the picker takes the product from the bin, he pushes a button which turns off the light and lets the system know he picked the item. Pickers repeat this action for each item in their orders.

Pick to Sound

A sound based automated order picking system works with headphones and a synthesized voice. For instance, the picker wears a headphone, and a computer program voice directs him to the area for each item on the order. The picker confirms each item with a verbal voice response like “picked” or “check.”

Making the Choice

If your orders are mostly small items without too many products in one order, a light-based automated order picking system is the best choice. Light systems are more expensive to install, but they are very accurate and fast.

If speed is not an issue and you have a large variety of goods to ship, a voice automated order picking system is best. They work well for large items in large warehouses with palletizers and stretch wrappers and other equipment. Installation is cheaper and easier than light systems because you don’t have to change your warehouse setup or install special conveyors.

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