March 31, 2022 | Lynn Drewicz
Not Just for Customer Order Fulfillment
Pick-to-light is proven and perfected for warehouse order fulfillment, such as ecommerce picking, store replenishment, or batch picking with carts. But we often run across great applications that use pick-to-light technology in a non-traditional way.
This post describes a non-typical pick-to-light application for a leading retailer and service provider of glasses and eyewear. Instead of filling customer sales orders, this Lightning Pick system directs technicians at eyeglass refurbishment stations to pick the items required to repair the glasses. Other examples of similar types of refurbishment could include electronics, communication and medical devices.
Picking the Pieces
Lightning Pick maintains a Bill-Of-Material (BOM) database which includes the refurbishment components required for eyeglasses refurbishment stations. Each of the stations are stocked with the components for the eyewear that can be processed there.
Like many picking operations, for example e-grocery picking and delivery, there are some items or components that have acceptable substitutes. The main database contains all this information, including the priorities to apply when choosing a substitute component. Changes and additions to this database are supplied to Lightning Pick from the MWS/ERP system.
The product to pick location configuration of each refurbishment station is maintained in a single Excel file – each station having its own sheet in the Excel workbook. Every time a change is made to the spreadsheet, it is imported into Lightning Pick’s database.
In this situation, the station’s configuration contains the following information:
- The station’s name, which must match an Area defined in Lightning Pick.
- The brand or brands that may be processed at the station.
- The component SKU number at each location.
Here’s an example of a light-directed refurbishment operation:
- The user picks up the product they’re going to work on and scans the SKU number.
- Lightning Pick then performs the following validations.
- Lightning Pick then builds an Order out of the required components and immediately launches it for picking.
1. Is the scanned SKU in the Bill-Of-Material database?
2. Is the station configured to process the brand/category the SKU belongs to?
3. Are each of the components, or an allowed substitute, specified in the Bill-Of-Material database for the SKU available at the station?
Pick for Yourself
Do you know of any applications where refurbishment or component picking with BOM intelligence and/or operator instructions would help streamline and error-proof your process? If so, please give us a call and one of our application specialists will pick your brains to see if our technology is right for you.
Lynn Drewicz, Matthews Marketing Manager, has worked with many global manufacturers and material handling suppliers, from custom technical ceramics, metal fabrication and membrane switches, to industrial samplers, heat exchangers, batteries and automation products. Her hobbies include tennis and music.