Smart picker-to-parts order picking: a sociotechnical analysis
Lunch Seminar in presence
Building BL26/B – Room 0.17 Sala Consiglio (ground floor)
Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering
Via R. Lambruschini, 4/B
Technical University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt (THWS), Germany
In many areas and in both private and professional environments, the idea of “smart” is present, e.g., in smart homes, smart cities, and smart factories. However, what “smart” actually means often remains vague, as attempts to define it usually boil down to equally vague characteristics such as flexible, scalable, or intelligent.
In this seminar, more tangible criteria for “smartness” will be derived from a socio-technical analysis of the picker-to-parts order-picking process. Since this is a highly repetitive process still prevalent in warehouses, usually performed by low-skilled personnel and with a wide range of tools available, picker-to-parts order picking is an ideal area for analysis from the perspective of socio-technical systems theory. The usual approach focusing on picking efficiency only addresses a few of the smartness criteria. Assistive technologies used in the warehouse (e.g., Pick-by-Voice, Pick-by-Vision) fall short of being smart in many aspects.
The seminar will also discuss determining factors and future prospects for smart assistive devices in order picking.
Peik Bremer studied mathematics and computer science at the University of Hanover, Germany, where he received his doctorate in mechanical engineering in 1999. He was logistics manager at a German automotive electronics supplier and Director Supply Chain EMEA at a U.S. telecommunications equipment supplier before being appointed professor at the Technical University of Applied Sciences Wuerzburg-Schweinfurt in 2001. His teaching area is business processes and technology in logistics. His research interests include smart logistics and the efficiency drivers of robot-controlled cube storage systems such as the AutoStore. He is a member of the advisory board of the International Symposium on Logistics. Since 2005, Dr.-Ing. Bremer has been a non-executive director for two German companies.