What Is An Order Picker? Functions, Types, Methods
Order pickers play an important role in many different types of material handling projects. If your warehouse doesn’t already use them, read on to find out how they can help streamline your operation.
You’ve arrived at the right place whether you’re new to warehousing or you have only heard the term order picker before (it’s also commonly referred to as a stock picker, order selector, or warehouse selector). This article describes what an order picker is, how it operates in your warehouse after being integrated, which industries can use them, and how they promote operator comfort while maintaining safety and efficiency.
What Is An Order Picker?
Warehouse order pickers are machines that enable operators to pick individual items at low, medium, or high levels. They’re highly manoeuvrable and can be used for stacking, transporting, or transferring items to a pallet, trolley, or roll cage before distribution to stores.
Types of Order Pickers
There are several types of order pickers available, starting with the low-level order picker. Low-level order pickers typically work on the ground and can have a platform elevation height of 1,000mm to reach the first level above.
Different Order Picking Methods
1. Single Order Picking
Single order picking is the most common type of picking method. In single order picking, each picker gathers items for a single order before moving on to the next. This type of picking is often used for fast-moving items that are picked frequently.
2. Batch Order Picking
Batch order picking is a method where a picker gathers items for several orders at once. The picker will fill up a tote or cart with items for multiple orders before moving on to the next batch. This type of picking is often used for slower-moving items that are not picked as often.
3. Zone Order Picking
Zone order picking is a method where items are grouped together in zones based on how often they are picked. The most frequently picked items are in the first zone, and the least picked items are in the last zone. Pickers will go to each zone and pick all of the items for all of the orders in that zone before moving on to the next zone. This type of picking is often used for fast-moving items that are picked frequently.
4. Wave Order Picking
Wave picking is a method where orders are assigned to pickers in waves. A picker will go through and pick all of the items for all of the orders in their wave before the next wave is released. This type of picking is often used when there are a large number of orders that need to be picked at the same time.
5. Cluster Order Picking
Pickers can work on multiple orders at the same time with the cluster picking method. Pickers, on the other hand, pick a variety of goods for numerous sales instead of concentrating on similar SKUs (items) for many purchases.
6. Pick and Pass Method
Associates pick SKUs for various orders at a time from within their zone and the bins, tote or containers are then passed to the next zone in the pick and pass method.
Which Order Picking Method Is Best?
The order picking process that will work best for your company depends on various factors such as warehouse size and inventory levels, the number of orders received per day, and the average number of items in each order.