Typically palletized loads are automatically transported via gravity through the pick module system. They can be directed into storage onto flow racks, or they can be broken down into individual products in preparation for shipment. They are extremely common in large distribution centers that are constantly shipping a large variety of orders.
The layout of your facility is the primary factor when designing a pick module system. You need to determine what your specific picking requirements are, so you’ll need to consider the following questions:
- What types of units are being picked? (full pallets, cartons, single items, etc.)
- How much inventory is being handled, and how many different types of units need to be sorted and picked?
- What are your lead time requirements?
- How heavy is your inventory?
- What is your ceiling height and overall square footage?
These are just a few factors that need to be considered before designing a system for your warehouse or storage facility.
Typically a “slotting analysis” is performed to determine the most cost efficient and effective place to store each different inventory item. In this process the factors that are considered are the weight and size of the product, the packaging (pallet, cartons, etc.), labor and space costs, and how often and in what quantities that item is being picked or replenished.
Safety and Permits
Pick modules require permits from local city or state municipalities to ensure that the pick modules were assembled in a way that follows building standards. These standards vary by municipality, so it is recommended that the design is reviewed before getting too far along with the project. The three items that are considered most heavily are:
- Structural analysis
- Fire safety
- Proper emergency lighting
Fire safety standards are the most specific and will require the most design attention. CAD drawings and engineer calculations are typically required to design such a system, as it can be very complex.
After the design is agreed upon and approved, and all permits are acquired, the construction of your pick module can begin. This can take anywhere from 2-8 months, depending on the complexity and size of the system being installed. We recommend designing your pick module in a way that allows for future expansion. It might seem too early to be considering the changes that might need to occur to your design in the future, but by allowing for these types of changes you are prepared for such expansion.