Journal of Navigation and Port Research 2009;33(7):477-482.
Published online September 30, 2009.
The Effect of Warehouse Layout Design on Order Picking Efficiency
Hyun Kim, Yun-Su Hur, Suk-Tae Bae
Abstract
In this paper the order picking problem in warehouses is considered, a topic which bas received considerable attention from the international academic body in recent years. The order picking problem deals with the retrieval of order items from prespecified locations in the warehouse, and its objective is usually the minimization of travel time or travel distance. Hence, a well-thought order picking policy in combination with an appropriate storage policy will enhance warehouse efficiency and reduce operational costs. This paper starts with a literature overview summarizing approaches to routing order pickers, assigning stock- keeping units to pick locations and designing warehouse layouts. Since the layout design might affect both storage and routing policies, the three factors are interdependent with respect to order picking performance. To test these interdependencies, a simulation experiment was set up, involving two types of warehouse layout, four types of storage policy, five well-known heuristics and five sizes of order picking list. Our results illustrate that from the point of view of order picking distance minimization it is recommended to equip the warehouse with a third cross aisle, although this comes at the cost of a certain space loss. Additionally, we propose a set of most appropriate matches between order picking heuristics and storage policies. Finally, we give some directions for further research and recommend an integrated approach involving all factors that affect warehouse efficiency.
Key Words: Order picking;Pick-to-part;Routing policy;Storage policy;Travel distance; Warehouse layout design
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