Berlys deploys Pick to Light in demanding environment

To stay ahead of the competition, Berlys asked Pcdata to collaborate in a project to improve order preparation for frozen products. Temperatures of up to -28°C where mentioned as one of the big challenges to any automation of the operation.

The two existing distribution centers have been upgraded with the implementation of a 540 location Pick to Light solution. Pcdata’s hardware for freezer environments is installed to withstand the operating temperatures. The large, highly visible and tactile pushbuttons facilitate the operators to work with gloves and appropriate clothing.
The implementation of the Pick to Light systems resulted in an error level below the companies targets, productivity has more than doubled.

Pick to Light in Freezer Environment

Order preparation in conditions far below zero is not an easy task. Operators can only spend limited time in the freezer and moving around is not as easy and agile as under normal conditions. The special LED pick displays for free-zer environments are prepared for these conditions and allow users to acknowledge operations without having to bother to much about their movements. Applied com-ponents and materials have been selected based on their specific properties, ensuring functionality and durability.
Pick to Light at Berlys The installed pick to Light systems at Berlys have multiple product lo-cations allocated in 5 zones. Ope-rators move the orders through zones manually, a trolley is being used to gather the products. Each zone has different product locations; the products are allocated based on their speed of rotation. Fast movers are allocated right in front of the operators, products with less rotation are placed on lower levels or even behind the ope-rators.

The Orderpicking Process Operators process orders one by one: The WMS decides on order sequencing and sends order information to the Pick to Light system. After receiving an order, the Pick to Light presents orders to the operators by activating the first zone , FIFO is being used as sequencing method.
Each of the required product lights up by means of an LED pick display showing information on the quantity that is required for the specific product. The operator picks the required products, puts them on the trolley and confirms the picking action on the LED pick display.
During this process, a multi line display called the Zone Displays shows information on the status and the progress of the order. The Zone Display also displays information on the location of a product to make sure operators know when products have to be gathered from locations behind them. After processing all products in the zone, the Zone Display clearly warns the operator that the picking for the zone is ready, the operator now moves to the next zone.
All 5 zones are being processed sequentially, ensuring a clear process that minimizes errors and optimizes efficiency.


Improved Picking

Before the installation of the Pick to Light system the orders where being gathered by means of paper picking lists. Due to the low temperatures this was a very time consuming process where operators had to manage paper and pencil using insulated gloves.
Current system is paperless, the use of Pcdata’s hardware for freezer environments makes it possible to use standard Pick to Light processes, achieving industry standard efficiency and error rates.
The reduction in the time spend on order preparation has an even larger effect on costs compared to normal environments since operators are not allowed to work in the freezer full time.

Operators efficiency

Under normal operating conditions the implementation of Pick to Light results in a reduction of labor costs and significantly reduce picking errors. With the implementation of Pcdata’s Pick to Light for Freezer Environments this can also be achieved in environments up to -28°C. Efficiency more than doubles, due to the forced non productive time operators have to spend outside of the freezer reduction in labor costs is even higher. On top of that no time has to be spend on the processing of Picking Lists, all information on gathered orders is being sent to the WMS automatically.


Jose Mari Urdin: “What surprised me most was the reduction in order preparation time. Since the installation of the Pick to Light we are able to cope with high volumes without having to delay any shipment”