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Batch picking in narrow-aisle order picking systems with consideration for picker blocking. (English) Zbl 1253.90009
Summary: We develop strategies to control picker blocking that challenge the traditional assumptions regarding the tradeoffs between wide- and narrow-aisle order picking systems. We propose an integrated batching and sequencing procedure called the indexed batching model (IBM), with the objective of minimizing the total retrieval time (the sum of travel time, pick time and congestion delays). The IBM differs from traditional batching formulations by assigning orders to indexed batches, whereby each batch corresponds to a position in the batch release sequence. We develop a mixed integer programming solution for exact control, and demonstrate a simulated annealing procedure to solve large practical problems. Our results indicate that the proposed approach achieves a 5-15% reduction in the total retrieval time primarily by reducing picker blocking. We conclude that the IBM is particularly effective in narrow-aisle picking systems.

90-08 Computational methods for problems pertaining to operations research and mathematical programming
90B30 Production models
90B06 Transportation, logistics and supply chain management
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