Pick Modules are engineered pallet racking systems that integrate a variety of storage solutions inside multi-level work platforms that move large volumes of product efficiently through a distribution facility. They are capable of fulfilling over one hundred thousand orders per day or processing millions of units in a week, distribution centers consisting of hundreds of thousands of square feet are becoming more and more commonplace across the globe. Pick modules are usually integrated into catwalk systems and may be made up of various rack types including selective, pallet flow, carton flow, or industrial shelving and can support conveyor and product flow systems, thereby reducing congestion and costly pick errors. The number of storage locations and SKUs stored in pick modules varies greatly from hundreds to thousands, depending on application and need.
Large distribution centers often have several multi-level pick modules with specialized levels or entire specialized pick modules set up to handle a specific type of product or configured for a specific type of rack. In other situations, companies start with a smaller, pilot pick module concept to gain confidence and proof of the productivity and efficiency benefits. The rise of E-commerce has greatly expanded pick module installation and use, as order picking is at the heart of that industry.
The main idea behind the order pick module is to optimize the efficient flow of goods or products with a catwalk system. Common setups see palletized loads moved by gravity through the system before being broken into cartons and pieces, then sent to pick areas and finally shipped to the consumer. Technology coupled with integrated conveyor and sortation systems direct the flow of in-bound product through the order fulfillment stage.
Beyond efficiency optimization, Pick Modules offer many advantages. They vertically consolidate many warehouse functions into one by utilizing a catwalk system, thus utilizing less space than standard floor level storage and maximizing storage density. Another direct benefit of this consolidation is that Pick Modules produce faster picking, resulting in significant cost savings for broken pallet, full-case or open-carton picking functions. This in turn reduces wasted "walk time" for pickers, who are situated in areas where they spend more time picking orders and less time searching for SKU's. Orders are typically conveyed away from the pickers to packing and shipping. This reduces picking times and increases accuracy. Pick-to-light or voice directed picking can be integrated into these systems to provide even faster, more accurate order fulfillment.
Pick modules are carefully designed to fit the needs of the particular operation at hand. That being said, there are no standardized pick modules available to choose from, yet they all have the same common traits and features available. Variances like overall, facility layout, type of products handled, and equipment on hand or being used all play into how a pick module should be best constructed to suit the needs of the application. Putting together those myriad pieces into a unified whole might seem daunting, but choosing a vendor like Hannibal Industries simplifies the process. Hannibal manufactures a huge portfolio covering any and all components of a Pick Module, from roll-formed and structural rack to pushback and pallet flow systems. Partnering with a contractor like Conveyor & Storage Solutions, a firm with over 28 years of experience specializing in storage density and complex system design, makes the process as easy and reassuring as it should be. Discover more in our Case Study: Records Storage Management System of a recent project we completed with a high density catwalk system.
Your customers expect rapid, trouble-free order fulfillment. To provide it, you need a tightly controlled solution that provides efficient storage, retrieval, and fast delivery - the pick module. Conveyor & Storage Solutions can help you create exactly the right module for your needs.