Determining the Optimal Order Picking Batch Size in Single Aisle Warehouses
25 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2003
Date Written: December 2002 7,
This work aims at investigating the influence of picking batch size to average time in system of orders in a one-aisle warehouse under the assumption that order arrivals follow a Poisson process and items are uniformly distributed over the aisle's length. We model this problem as an M/G[k]/1 queue in which orders are served in batches of exactly orders. The average time in system of the M/G[k]/1 queue is difficult to obtain for general service times. To circumvent this obstacle, we perform an extensive numerical experiment on the average time in system of the model when the service time is deterministic (M/D[k]/1) or exponentially distributed (M/M[k]/1). These results are then compared with the corresponding times in system of the actual model taken from simulation runs. A variance analysis is carried out and its result elicits that the M/D/[k]/1 queue is a very good approximation for the average time in system of orders. Correspondingly, the optimal picking batch size of the real system can be approximated by the optimal batch size when service time is deterministic.
Keywords: order picking, warehousing, batch picking, batch size, batch service queue
JEL Classification: M, M11, R4, C59
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