Many live storage systems are installed without achieving the pick rates envisaged due to simple design issues that could easily be picked out if a customer could test a system before installation. Ed Hutchison, managing director at BITO Storage Systems, explains that a test facility – such as The BITO Experience Centre – is essential in achieving optimum performance and assuring quality.
Nobody wants to find themselves in a situation where having installed hundreds of lanes of pallet or carton live storage in their warehouse, they find out that their pallet of choice won’t run smoothly down the lane or that half of their pickers cannot comfortably reach the cartons of the highest level of the carton live storage system. These are not inconsequential hiccups; extrapolated across an entire system over a busy picking day, they can incur a serious reduction in pick rates.
And yet these kinds of issues can be easily ironed out at the design stage before the installation even takes place. All it takes is the ability for a customer to try out their live storage. This will let them refine the design to meet their precise needs and overcome any specific operational challenges they may have.
A company buying an order picking system needs to ensure that it is ergonomically friendly for its pickers, no matter what their size, to allow operations to be carried out easily and efficiently. Customers of BITO for instance can try out their carton live solutions on an ergonomic test bed in The BITO Experience Centre located in the company’s Nuneaton headquarter.
Designed according to the principals of the TUV Rhineland Ergonomic Studies – the highly respected German ergonomic certification and test mark – this test bed demonstrates clearly the ergonomics of a new carton live system. It also gives customers the chance to request adjustments to refine the design into a system that meets their needs exactly. It’s usually small things that make the difference. For example, will the pickers need a step up rail within the system or not? What incline angles will be within the carton live lanes? Will this create good visual contact for the pickers, who may come in different shapes and sizes?”
Ergonomics will influence pick rates significantly so optimum pick faces need to be designed around the operative’s natural picking curve.
When it comes to trying out pallet live systems, a test facility will determine perhaps the most vital issue when it comes to gaining full efficiency from such a system: will the pallet roll smoothly?
Mocking up a proposed live storage system will also give customers the opportunity to touch and feel a real example system in the metal. They can have their own staff try it out and make recommendations on what adjustments could be made.
The lesson then is surely to try out your live storage system before it is installed, make sure it is of the quality you would expect and that the design is absolutely right for your needs.
BITO Storage Systems Limited
Tel: 024 7638 8850