The System at a Glance
What you need to know about LightPick
What is LightPick?
LightPick is a modern, light-based paperless picking system. Order information is communicated directly from the order management system and relayed to the pick stations to display the location and quantity of the goods needed to be picked.
LightPick represents a family of pick-to-light solutions. The core component is the pick blocks; these are the individual cells that correspond to a specific shelf position and indicate when and how many need to be picked. When working in multiple picking zones, shelf bays are equipped with tower lights that further help to indicate where a pick is needed, eliminating the need to search aisle by aisle. The pick blocks have a highly visible eye-catching light, and an acknowledgment button. A display and further function keys are available based on the model. The acknowledgment button is used in order to allow the picker to confirm the removal and successful pick from a specific position. This information is immediately sent back to the warehouse management system (WMS) to confirm the inventory state and queues the next order for picking while indicating that the pick has been completed successfully.
Models equipped with the function keys (+/-) allow for simple and direct correction of withdrawal quantity in the event of stock shortage or order error. Custom programmable features can also be programmed into the function keys to allow for additional features.
All LightPick components can be paired with barcode scanners or RFID readers to initiate a picking session or to confirm the end of a pick, which can be accomplished serially or in parallel.
How does it work?
The LightPick system is incredibly user-friendly and can be broken down into 4 main steps:
- The picking session is activated – via a barcode scanner, physical button, or automatically through a WMS
- The stack tower lights indicate which aisle the first pick is from and the pick blocks indicate the precise location, quantity, and any other necessary detail about the pick
- The picker completes the pick and confirms with the acknowledgment key
- The inventory change is posted immediately in the WMS and the next pick location is indicated. Over 7 unique colors are available to allow for multiple order picking simultaneously. After a full order is complete, the system indicates to the picker so they can choose when to proceed with the next order.
How does it connect to my existing system?
All that is required to run LightPick is access to the order management system via an API and power. That’s it! The LightPick controller allows a seamless connection from the low-level pick blocks to the higher-level order management system. All the data received is processed and queued internally so inputs and outputs to the management system are minimal. The advantages of a simple and fast interface are essential to an optimal workflow and help optimize the entire flow of the operation.
The standard interface of the LightPick system is realized via TCP/IP socket. Two asynchronous TCP/IP channels are established for data transmission in both directions.
The primary channel (download) is used for the activation and deactivation of the displays. The secondary communication channel (upload) is responsible for acknowledgments, corrections, error messages, and any additional custom special messages desired.
What are the parts involved?
The LightPick system is composed of 4 main key components with options for additional accessories:
- Controller (responsible for communicating between the WMS and LightPick)
- Pick block (display varies depending on model) and acknowledgment button
- Mounting rails with integrated BUS (pick blocks are mounted directly to the rails with internal communication and power bars)
- Cabling between the mounting rails and controller
Accessories include stack tower lights, barcode scanners, RFID readers, Wifi controllers, and mobile shelving.
Assembly, installation, and commissioning are very straightforward and simple. LightPick was designed for a quick set-up. Since all the pick blocks are mounted directly to the mounting rails and wired internally, it becomes a plug’n-start solution as soon as it’s attached to the shelving.
The overview of LightPicks architecture is quite simple. The order management system (in many cases the WMS or ERP) receives order data from an external or internal source. There is a lot of information included in this data but much of it is unnecessary for picking. LightPick’s control box extracts the necessary information and sends it out to the pick blocks to activate the picking process. The pick blocks 2-way communication channel accepts the information and displays the required information. The confirmation button sends an acknowledgment back to LightPick’s control box which updates the WMS or ERP system to keep inventory updated.
The simple system architecture of LightPick allows it to be very flexible when it comes to changing or upgrading the system if for example, more lines need to be added or if shelf positions change locations. All the system information is easily available from a computer on-site or can be accessed remotely, to keep in check with current picks or to change any system parameters in real-time.