VDI Guideline 3590 defines the term picking as "the compilation of specific partial quantities (articles) from a provided total quantity (assortment) based on demand information (orders)." The articles to be picked can be raw materials and auxiliary materials as well as semi-finished products and finished goods.
The selected picking procedure is based on the time and space requirements with regard to the provision of goods, their removal and delivery. Suitable picking techniques can be derived from this and implemented as a system solution. Generally speaking, picking systems are subdivided as follows:
- Information system
- Organization system
- Material flow system
In this way, the information required for order processing can be transmitted either acoustically (pick-by-voice), optically (pick-by-light) or via radio data transmission. The material flow system regulates the provision of goods optionally according to the principles "person-to-goods" or "goods-to-person", prescribes a manual or automatically supported removal and thus directly influences the movement sequences of the employees. The organizational system, on the other hand, focuses on the structural and procedural organization within picking and its optimization.