In a put to light system, containers of individual items are directed to a put to light packing area where each store or order has an assigned packing location in the order consolidation work area. The operator scans the container barcode on an inbound container that may be entering the put to light area from receiving or storage. Once scanned, ‘put’ lights at the ‘put’ locations illuminate and display the quantity to place.
Once the correct item quantity is placed into the shipping container, the operator confirms the ‘put’ by pressing a light or button. The operator repeats these steps by for all locations with an illuminated display, until complete and then moves on to the next product that needs to be put into shipping containers. Put quantities can be any unit of measure that is less than a case, such as eaches or inner packs.
A single put to light device can be used for two locations, which is common in retail distribution layouts.
Bastian Solutions’ Exacta intralogistics software tracks all item quantities put into each shipping container, as well as remaining puts to be completed from the original container, and the remaining quantity in the original container.
Based on business rules and the put to light device used, operators might also have the ability to short a put to a container or split a put across multiple containers for the store or order. Other features within put to light communication include:
- Closing containers
- Indication of a full container to close
- Opening a new container
- Configurable scan verification as you open a container for the location
If integrated with the Exacta WCS (warehouse control system) routing module, inbound item containers can be dynamically routed to lanes based on workload. Based on how full a lane the inbound container can be routed to a different lane to help balance the work to keep all put operators busy.