Pick Module Systems: Efficient Order Picking
Flow efficiency is critical within the modern warehouse environment, especially given the demanding nature of the current supply chain. Seemingly minor delays can lead to significant losses over time, making it difficult to meet the strict demands of today's clients and customers. These problems can quickly be amplified in high-volume operations —particularly when dealing with minimal space.
Therein lies the value of advanced warehouse pick modules. These versatile systems include a variety of storage solutions that can be called upon to move SKUs through high-volume systems. Featuring multiple levels and integrated conveyors, pick modules provide the most bang for the buck by churning out fast picks while taking up minimal space.
To get the most out of your pick module system, it’s important to have experts help with planning, setup, and optimization. Contact Warehouse1 to speak to one of our experienced consultants.
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How Pick Modules Work
While pick module designs and functionality can vary significantly from one warehouse to the next, these systems focus on integrating several phases of distribution with the intention of achieving an optimal flow efficiency. A typical warehouse picking system is comprised of the following key elements:
- Pallet flow. This uses a slightly inclined conveyor to draw on the power of gravity. The goal: to optimize the movement of pallets. With this system, greater efficiency may be possible as compared to static rack systems.
- Carton flow. Like pallet flow, this approach relies on gravity, as well as wheeled tracks or rollers. Separate load and pick aisles are used to allow for effective FIFO (first-in, first-out) fulfillment.
- Pallet racks. These provide rapid access to critical products and materials. They can be stacked several levels high to make the most of limited space. In this context, they work well for both full and split case picking.
- Mezzanines and work platforms. Storage systems built into mezzanines and work platforms create multi-level pick module systems, allowing for faster picking with efficient use of space.
- Conveyor. Power or gravity conveyors can be centered in your picking aisles to transport your inventory from storage to packaging and shipping zones. With multi-level systems, spiral conveyor, incline conveyor, or a vertical lift system can be used to transport products to the ground floor.
Enhancing Your Warehouse Operations
A wide variety of industries can take advantage of pick modules in warehouses and distribution centers. eCommerce businesses, in particular, are suited to this setup, as many work with a high volume of products that need to be moved swiftly — particularly during busy periods such as the holiday season. Companies that handle pallet or carton fulfillment also can make excellent use of pick modules, which are ideal for kitting — the picking, packaging, and supplying together of items that are separate, but related.
Other common applications for pick modules include:
- Prepackaged foods
- Auto parts
In these and other industries, pick modules offer a range of benefits. Key advantages are outlined in detail below:
- Save space. Every inch counts when dealing with a small warehouse packed with equipment and SKUs. Pick modules make the most of limited space by stretching the vertical potential of the warehouse environment. Their multi-level designs provide a unique opportunity to achieve dense product storage, especially as compared to floor-level layouts.
- Improve productivity. The multi-level nature of pick modules goes beyond optimizing space alone. This approach also can dramatically improve productivity by achieving more picks per hour than would be possible with conventional systems.
- Reduce costs. Together, the exceptional productivity and space-saving qualities of these systems make them a wonderful option for keeping costs to a minimum, and ultimately, achieving an impressive return on investment. While conveyorization costs can be considerable, many businesses are able to recoup this through the sheer power of efficiency.
Explore Warehouse1’s Pick Module Solutions
If you're ready to boost your warehouse's efficiency, a customized pick module solution could provide the swift improvements you need. Your order picking system should be strategically built to meet the unique conditions and circumstances in your warehouse or distribution center.
At Warehouse1, we are pleased to provide a range of solutions, along with several options to make your warehouse more efficient. Contact us today to request a quote — or to learn more about our pick module systems and other warehouse offerings.