Title: A heuristic for clustering and picking small items considering safe reach of the order picker

Authors: Omar Al-Araidah; Doraid Dalalah; Ma'en Al-Abdel Azeez; Mohammad T. Khasawneh

Addresses: Industrial Engineering Department, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, 22110, Jordan ' Industrial Engineering Department, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, 22110, Jordan ' Industrial Engineering Department, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, 22110, Jordan ' Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering, State University of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, New York 13902, USA

Abstract: The paper presents a heuristic for clustering and picking small items in a man-aboard order picking system. The proposed heuristic clusters items such that the size of the cluster is bounded by the shape and dimensions of the work envelop of the picker. Where, the picking work envelop is determined considering maximum safe reach as a function of the anthropometric measures of the order picker. This allows the picker to safely pick more items per stop of the order picking platform. Moreover and to minimise total tour time, simulated annealing is used to solve the resulting travel salesperson problem. The proposed heuristic is tested on various order picking scenarios of small items. Analytical results show improvement in the cycle time of the order picking system compared to that obtained using heuristics from literature. [Received 6 September 2015; Revised 25 July 2016; Accepted 11 November 2016]

Keywords: man-aboard order picking; human reach; anthropometry; ergonomics; simulated annealing; travel salesman problem; TSP; heuristics; item clustering; item picking; small items; reach safety; cycle time.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIE.2017.083256

European Journal of Industrial Engineering, 2017 Vol.11 No.2, pp.256 - 269

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 22 Mar 2017 *

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