Goods to Person (GTP) picking is a method of picking where items are brought to the operator to be packed, rather than requiring operators to navigate storage locations themselves, improving accuracy and efficiency, decreasing labor costs, and saving storage space.
Goods-to-Person (GTP) picking is a warehousing and order fulfillment strategy that focuses on maximizing the efficiency of the picking process. Unlike traditional methods where operators traverse the warehouse aisles to pick or replenish items, GTP reverses the roles. In this approach, items are brought to the operators, reducing the time spent searching for products and increasing overall productivity.
The success of Goods to Person picking relies heavily on automation technologies. Two primary categories of automation solutions are used in GTP picking: fixed solutions and mobile solutions. Let's explore each of these categories of automations:
1. Cranes/Unit Load AS/RS:
Cranes are commonly used for handling larger loads, such as pallets or boxes. They offer high-speed retrieval and are ideal for large warehouses with heavy products. The benefits of cranes & unit-load automation include:
2. Shuttle/Mini-Load AS/RS
Shuttle systems use robotic shuttles to transport items within the storage structure. These shuttles move horizontally and vertically to access items efficiently. They are well-suited for high-density storage applications. Benefits of Shuttle/Mini-Load AS/RS include:
3. Horizontal/Vertical Carousels:
Horizontal and Vertical carousels consist of vertically rotating shelves that bring the required item to the operator. These systems are known for their compact footprint and are suitable for smaller warehouses. Benefits of carousels include:
1. Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs)
AMRs are a flexible and cost-effective alternative for Goods to Person picking. These robots are equipped with advanced navigation systems and sensors that allow them to move autonomously within the warehouse environment. AMRs can carry individual units, pallets, or storage shelves of product to operators. Benefits of AMRs in floor picking include:
2. Floor-Guided Robots
Floor-guided robots, similar to AMRs, are designed to assist in GTP picking by transporting individual items or small storage units within the warehouse. While they may not have the same level of autonomous navigation and adaptability as AMRs, they may be the more appropriate application in certain cases. Some of the benefits of floor robots in GTP picking are:
Goods to Person (GTP) picking and Person to Goods (PTG) picking represent two distinct approaches to warehouse operations. While GTP focuses on bringing items to the operator, PTG involves operators retrieving items from warehouse storage locations and transporting them to the picking area.
In some cases, both GTP and PTG methods may incorporate automation technologies. For example, in PTG picking, operators might select items from warehouse shelves and load them onto an Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) or similar system, which then transports the items to the picking station. This hybrid approach reduces the time operators spend walking and minimizes labor-intensive tasks associated with carrying heavy items.
In general, GTP systems require a higher initial investment to achieve greater variable operating savings, while PTG operations require lower upfront capital, but higher variable labor expense.
AMRs are a type of automated storage and retrieval system that are able to navigate without human guidance. They’re able to use sensors and cameras to make their way to products, select them, and transport them around an area. Depending on the size and capability of the AMR, they can transport boxes, trays, crates, totes, or pallets. They can be used in picking to bring items to operators, or can be used for security, maintenance, and inventorying purposes.
Improved Accuracy. GTP minimizes the potential for errors associated with manual putaway and picking. With items brought directly to the operator, the chances of picking the wrong product or quantity are significantly reduced.
Decreased Labor Costs. By automating the retrieval and transportation of items, GTP reduces the physical labor required for picking and putaway. This not only lowers labor costs but also reduces the risk of injuries associated with repetitive manual tasks.
Increased Efficiency. GTP dramatically improves picking and replenishment efficiency. Operators can focus solely on picking and packing tasks, without the need for extensive walking or navigating the warehouse, resulting in faster order fulfillment.
Space Savings. GTP systems eliminate the need for discrete pick faces and picking aisles, increasing storage density in the warehouse.
Whether you're torn between a few options or don’t even know where to begin, the expert engineers at Maveneer can help you select, design, and integrate the right Goods To Person technology to optimize your warehouse operations.