Matic Horvat (2012) An Approach to Order Picking Optimization in Warehouses. EngD thesis.
The conventional approach to order picking optimization divides the process in three main decision areas: storage policy, order consolidation policy, and routing policy. In practice, we encountered variants of randomized storage in warehouses that range from completely ordered to completely unordered. We investigated the effect of the order level of the warehouse on the picking tour length. An additional problem encountered in warehouses with randomized storage that is not addressed by the conventional methods of order picking optimization is item selection. The item selection problem is concerned with selecting a single product to pick from multiple products throughout the warehouse so as to satisfy a customer order. We extended the conventional approach to order picking optimization by proposing a solution to the item selection problem using RTA* algorithm. Alongside established solutions to the order batching and picker routing problems, we integrated this into a complete sequential approach to order picking optimization. We evaluated our approach by experiments in simulated warehouse environment. We demonstrated that low order level of the warehouse is to be preferred compared to high order level as it results in shorter picking tours. Additionally, we have shown that our approach scales well with increasing warehouse size and number of orders.
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