Picking is one of those activities where people have to be as mobile as possible. Picking on a terminal screen, even though it is on a RF tablet PC, is very unhandy. Most likely you have different kinds of applications for picking, depending on the reason of picking (for staging, for shipping, ...)

PROMES has built a picking platform based on Palmtop devices with barcode scanner, with which picking is limited to scanning barcodes only.

When transferring containers in your MES application you move them out of a location first, and move them into a new location later. Locations are considered to be physical places in this concept. In our concept we consider a picking bill as a virtual location. By picking a container, the container is temporary moved into the picking bill. The definition of the picking bill will tell the system what the reason for the picking is, which gives us the possibility to use one transparent picking application for all picking.

The picking bill also operates as a virtual carrier for the picked containers. This means that moving the containers into the staging area is then limited to moving the picking bill into the staging area. If the picking bill was setup to prepare a freight for later shipment, the actual shipment is then limited to selecting the picking/freight bills that actually were loaded on the truck.

Prepare picking sheet

Preparing the picking sheet may be a manual operation on the screen, or an automatic one (for instance downloading allocations from the ERP). Whatever process you use it always comes to a sheet containing the specification of what needs to be picked, which in our case looks like:

Execute picking

Executing the picking is done through Palmtop devices equiped with barcode scanners.
Select picking function. The Palmtop screens will guide you through the picking screen.

On the picking sheet the picklines are identified by a barcode as well. Scanning it will tell the system on what line to work and will give the operator the latest status of the picking. Rest is just scanning of containers.