Error-free order picking

Foto vom Demonstrator zu Fehlerfreies Kommissionieren
© Fraunhofer IIS/Ibrahim Ibrahim

Progress is also being made in the automation and digitization of order picking, although humans and their cognitive capabilities remain indispensable when the picking process calls for a high degree of flexibility – as is so often the case. Nevertheless, humans are not infallible, and every false move in order picking results in extra work and higher costs. Help is available in the form of technology-based assistance solutions that quickly and reliably notify the order picker of errors. The system, developed by Fraunhofer IIS and the Fraunhofer Center for Applied Research on Supply Chain Services SCS, uses inductive near-field positioning to determine which rack compartment the order picker is reaching into. This information is instantly relayed to a software platform for target/actual value comparison, allowing validation and confirmation of the picking operation. In the event of a mistake, an alarm message is sent directly to the order picker to allow immediate correction. The system is fundamentally different from previous systems for monitoring picking operations, which operated using optical sensors, light barriers, or laser scanners: it is significantly cheaper to install, and the near-field positioning can recognize picking errors even when multiple pickers reach into the compartment at the same time. The IndLoc® positioning technology used was developed for this application by Fraunhofer IIS.

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Inductive Positioning

Developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, IndLoc® positioning technology is an economical solution for the three-dimensional, real-time positioning of passive objects in a defined space with a high degree of precision. To this end, a live conductor encloses a defined area of variable size and generates a weak alternating magnetic field within the perimeter.  

Industry 4.0 in practice

Here you will find further fields of application devoted in the project: