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500% pick rate rise – Picking spotlights explained

Article by Megan Gee

The claim that flexible warehouse automation can raise your pick rates by up to 500% seems bold and brash before you understand the technology. By breaking down how each step and each interconnected system works, we at Wise Robotics want to show you why this kind of claim isn’t mere marketing messaging This is real, next-generation, game-changing technology. It’s the reason we can say with authority that the robotic revolution isn’t coming – it’s already here. A big part of that is the picking spotlight system.

What are picking spotlights?

Picking spotlights are a means to make the picking stations in your automated warehouse as efficient as both humanly and robotically possible.

When a robot carries a freestanding shelf rack to a picking station, it is positioned under a metal arm, with a robotic articulated spotlight and camera mounted on top. The camera allows the shelf to be scanned with machine vision, and the light then swivels to shine on the product that needs picking. Without sound or other human direction, the picker can then take the item in question, and move on to the next.

Why are picking spotlights superior to manual picking?

Picking spotlight systems are revolutionary because of their accuracy. Human error is horrifyingly commonplace in warehouses, resulting in mistakes between 1-3% of the time. With picking spotlights in place, errors can become dramatically less frequent, meaning that both speed and precision in your warehouse can be implicitly counted on.

This represents a much faster and far more accurate system of picking than voice, barcode, or paper-based systems. No other workers are needed to keep it running, and the accuracy level remains high thanks to extremely adept computer control. Systems like these are a massive step forward for warehouses of all kinds.

This can enable your business to build an even better reputation, allowing for more customers, more profit, and more growth.

Why are picking spotlights so much more accurate?

Picking spotlights aren’t just accurate by itself. The accuracy comes because picking spotlights are part of a goods-to-person automation system that lets every part of the process play to its strengths.

In a normal manual warehouse, the manual pickers have to do a lot of multi-tasking. Moving up and down the aisles to find the right item. Bringing it back to the picking station. Checking it’s correct. Packing it. Moving it on to the next phase of the process. All this is being done by the same people in the same system.

From an engineering point of view, this is a recipe for disaster. Imagine trying to design a single piece of equipment to perform all these different roles. It would be a hugely complicated task, most likely resulting in an expensive and unwieldy solution.

Any systems designer given such a task might very reasonably ask “why don’t we just make several different apparatus, specialised to each stage of the process?”

This is the philosophy that picking spotlights in particular, and warehouse automation in general, embraces wholeheartedly. Avoid general-purpose answers, and move into superior specialist modes, where everyone performs much better. That is how you get 500% increases in pick rates.

In a manual warehouse, pickers are expected to do the finding, moving, picking, and packing. What’s more, pickers are only specialised in doing one of these.

In an automated warehouse, all the work of walking between bins and finding the right product is taken out of the pickers’ hands. Instead, they can put all their attention onto the single most important part of their job. Picking.

With the robots removing fatigue by taking over all the moving between the bins, and no distractions from having to co-ordinate correct picking with other workers, pickers can be much more focused, and much more accurate.

Discover what picking spotlights can do for you

A pick rate rise of up to 500% is just the beginning of what the next generation of warehouse automation can offer.

Discover the full range of potential change offered by picking spotlights, goods-to-person automation, and all the other advancements provided by Wise Robotics. Book a consultation call with one of our experts, or come and see us in person. We own and operate Europe’s first flexible robotics demonstration centre, so you can see for yourself the real truth about the arrival of the robotic revolution.

When you have your own experience of this technology, you can provide an informed answer to an important question – do I want my future to involve using this technology, or competing against those who do?

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