Case 1 – Increase Efficiency

Before

  • The volume of articles was set to nearly double, but it was difficult to hire more personnel, and the large volume could not be handled via current paper processing.
  • Due to contract changes with clients, it became necessary to assort articles quickly the same day that they were delivered.
  • It was difficult to physically place wired put-to-light systems for handling paper products and large objects like clothes-drying poles.
  • Put-to-light systems for simultaneous work by several workers carry the risk of workers’ accidentally pushing a button of the wrong color.

After

Because of an increased efficiency in assorting articles, it was possible to handle an increased amount of goods and decrease lead times without additional personnel.

  • By utilizing the flexibility of Wireless Light Modules and adapting floor layouts, work planned in multiple batches could be finished as a single batch, increasing efficiency.
  • Five-colored Multi-Work Light Modules allowed simultaneous task processing by five workers. Simultaneous tasks were carried out by multiple workers without color-coding mistakes, by checking goods via barcode scanners and without pressing a button on the Light Module after completion of each task.
  • Because workers did not have to carry pencil and paper, they were able to work more quickly.

Solution

Wireless put-to-light systems for simultaneous assorting by multiple workers

  • Wireless Light Modules are placed on racks, after which barcode scanners read the QR code of the Wireless Light Module’s ID and that of the branch KANBAN, linking them with the shipping destination. The worker then confirms that the shipping name shown on the Wireless Light Module is correct.
  • The worker takes the barcode scanner corresponding to his or her assigned color from five available color-coded barcode scanners and hangs it from his or her neck.
  • Then the worker scans the barcode of the delivered articles.
  • The worker next carries articles to the location flashing his or her assigned color and deposits the displayed number of articles. Because different colors are displayed at the same time, different workers can supply the same location with articles at the same time and at different speeds.
  • When a barcode scanner reads the KANBAN QR code, the Light Module’s indicated color disappears.
  • At the final assorting location the worker checks the remaining stock of the given article and is shown the number remaining at hand. This confirmation verifies the assorted numbers.
  • When all tasks are completed, a destination label is attached to each container, which is then packaged and shipped.

Case 2 – Preventing Operation Errors

Before

  • The operation required two operators: one to read out assorting lists for each SKU, and one to do the assorting work
  • The difficulty of discerning the many similar products resulted in assorting errors.
  • The company needed a system that enabled them to switch between pick to light and put to light according to volume, and needed the system to be able to withstand the change.

After

Our system trimmed roughly two hours from work time

〈Operational changes〉

  • While the previous system required one reader and one operator, the new system eliminated the need for the reader by enabling visual confirmation of the assorting place, items to be picked, and quantities simply by reading the store and SKU label.

〈System application〉

    • The new system can easily accommodate changes because the application of the system of the software package made it possible to change between pick to light and put to light according to volume, customer, and numbers of operators.

    〈Configuration cost〉

    • Distribution center employees can configure the two nonpolar core wires, reducing configuration costs.

            Solution

            Use of Master of Supply Parts software package

            • Our software package enables designation of shipping data row. The ability to change this setting at the beginning of operation provides the user with two options: pick to light by SKU, or put to light by store. We provided guidance for configuring the system, allowing customer configuration.

            Case 3 – Preventing Shipping Errors

            Before

            • This company mostly handles high-value, made-to-order items; shipping errors are unacceptable.
            • All picking is done by list. In such a high-pressure environment, this causes great stress to operators, and the retention rate is low.
            • The company handles small items, and the shelves and dividers are small and narrow; it was difficult to install instruments.

            After

            Light modules can be installed even on small shelves

            • Compact light modules can be installed even on small shelves, allowing digitization of picking.
            • Our Pick to Light systems makes it possible to work stress-free for long periods of time.
            • Work accuracy also increased, and in busy periods, the company enjoys eight times normal productivity. (400 pieces per hour)

            Solution

            Pick to Light Systems (PTL) with compact light modules

            • Our pick to light system with compact light modules can be installed even on shelves with narrow dividers. Wireless handy terminals are used to conduct shipping inspections.