Proven Solutions to Fill Orders Faster, More Accurately
Alternative Technologies offers a wide array of order picking systems, ranging from very simple pick & pack to high performance automated solutions. We’ll help you find a custom solution that fits your business and budget, allowing you to respond to your customers faster and more accurately. We also provide a full line of technologies to automate your order fulfillment requirements, including carousels, pick-to-light, pick-to-voice and AS/RS systems.
Order Processing/Picking Equipment & Systems
- Static Shelving– This is the most common and economical form of equipment for piece picking; ideal fornumerous and/or slow-moving SKU’s. Items are picked to totes or cartons and placed on picking carts or conveyor.
- Pallet Rack – Cases are often picked from pallets off the lower level rack levels using pallet racks, order pickers or forklifts .
- Carton Flow Rack– Carton Flow rack is a gravity-fed case or piece pick system ideal for applications with numerous and/or medium moving SKUs. Cartons are fed into storage lanes from one aisle and retrieved from the opposite aisle, separating picking and replenishment activities. Carton flow can be used as a stand-alone system or integrated with conveyor or multi-level pick modules in complex system.
- Pallet Flow – Pallet Flow is a high density pallet storage system using slightly inclined rails with rollers, allowing
pallets to move easily along a sloped plane. Cases are picked from the front pallet to pallet jacks or conveyor.
- Pick Modules– Pick modules are engineered systems incorporating a variety of storage mediums, including racking, pallet flow, carton flow and conveyor into multi-level order picking workstations. Pick modules effectively consolidate order fulfillment to provide optimal product flow.
- Horizontal Carousels – A series of carriers/bins that rotate horizontally around an oval track to deliver stored goods to an operator.
- Vertical Carousels– A series of carriers and intermediate shelves that rotate
vertically around a track to deliver selected goods to a picking station.
- Vertical Lift Modules– An enclosed system of vertically arranged trays, an extraction platform and a series of computerized controls that delivers goods to an ergonomic workstation where an operator picks or replenishes the goods.
- Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems–AS/RS Systems consist of a variety of computer-controlled methods for automatically placing and retrieving loadsfrom specific storage locations. Typically, each rack row has a retrieval unit/crane that picks and puts away items.
- Unit Load systems store pallet or large container loads.
- Mini-Load systems store trays or totes and are typically used for order picking.
- Micro-Load systems store totes or boxes and are typically used for order picking.
New order picking technologies and software applications continually improve the order fulfillment process by reducing labor intensive tasks, enhancing productivity and reducing errors.
- Faster Pick Rates
- Improved Order Accuracy
- Reduced Labor Costs
- Superior Customer Service
- Ergonomic Work Picking Stations
- RF Picking – The first paperless pick technology, RF relies on a radio frequency wireless network and host server that communicates directly with the higher level Warehouse Management System (WMS) Warehouse Control System (WCS) (link) to send and receive order information. The information is relayed to small RF terminals carried or worn by order pickers or mounted to forklifts. These terminals indicate the proper SKU location and quantity to pick. The order picker sends confirmation to the host signal either by scanning the item with the terminal or manually pressing product identification buttons. Upon completion, the terminal directs the picker to the next location.
- Pick-to-Light – In a Pick-to-Light System each part (SKU) location is connected to a light display. Software turns on the display, indicating the item and quantity required.
Put-to-Light – In a Put-to-Light System a single SKU is picked and delivered to an area containing multiple orders where the proper quantity is put to each order. This is sometimes referred to as a Put Wall.
- Voice-Pick – Workers wear a headset connected to a small wearable computer terminal which verbally instructs the worker to the location and quantity of the next item to be picked. Workers confirm their tasks by speaking pre-defined commands or confirmation codes. The speech recognition software understands the workers’ responses. Voice picking systems are extremely efficient as the picker does not need to refer to a printed pick list.
Before selecting an order picking solution, take a look at the important steps to consider in our Designing Your Order Picking System section, which also includes a description of order picking methods and classifications.