Efficient Order Picking Methods in Robotic Mobile Fulfillment Systems

Publikation: Arbeits- oder Diskussionspapiere und BerichteArbeits- oder Diskussionspapiere


Robotic mobile fulfillment systems (RMFSs) are a new type of warehousing system, which has received more attention recently, due to increasing growth in the e-commerce sector. Instead of sending pickers to the inventory area to search for and pick the ordered items, robots carry shelves (called "pods") including ordered items from the inventory area to picking stations. In the picking stations, human pickers put ordered items into totes; then these items are transported by a conveyor to the packing stations. This type of warehousing system relieves the human pickers and improves the picking process. In this paper, we concentrate on decisions about the assignment of pods to stations and orders to stations to fulfill picking for each incoming customer's order. In previous research for an RMFS with multiple picking stations, these decisions are made sequentially. Instead, we present a new integrated model. To improve the system performance even more, we extend our model by splitting orders. This means parts of an order are allowed to be picked at different stations. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first publication on split orders in an RMFS. We analyze different performance metrics, such as pile-on, pod-station visits, robot moving distance and order turn-over time. We compare the results of our models in different instances with the sequential method in our open-source simulation framework RAWSim-O.
Anzahl der Seiten31
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 2019

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