Using Simulation to Analyze Picker Blocking in Manual Order Picking Systems

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The rise of the e-commerce practice makes the warehouses be confronted with ever smaller orders that must be met ever faster, often within a 24-h period. This pressures the order picking process as the orders pickers’ workload becomes higher and higher, leading subsequently to congestion in the warehouse and impacting its productivity. It is therefore crucial to determine which order batching and picking policies enhance the performance of order picking activities. This paper carries out an intensive simulation study to examine the performance of different order picking policies with batching in a wide-aisle warehouse with a low-level picker-to-parts system. The performance of the system is measured in terms of total travelled distance, number of collisions between operators (congestion) and order lead times. A full factorial design is set up and the simulation output is statistically analyzed. The results are reported and thoroughly discussed.




Bahrami, B., Aghezzaf, E. H., & Limere, V. (2017). Using Simulation to Analyze Picker Blocking in Manual Order Picking Systems. Procedia Manufacturing, 11, 1798–1808.

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