Order batching in a warehouse based on Garcia Proth method
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In this research, we consider the order batching in manual order picking systems of small parts. The orders arrive at start of the day with the quantity of items in each order being independent and identically distributed from a uniform distribution. We propose a heuristic approach to improve the order picking systems in warehouses. The order picking system is modeled in two stages as order batching and picker routing. The order batching is done based on proximity measures of the locations of items between the orders. Batches are formed using the results of the Garcia Proth Method to minimize the congestion experienced by pickers. The picker routes are determined to further minimize congestion by assigning pickers to work on allotted batched with defined routes for each picking tour. We consider the congestion issue while batching the orders and picker routing. The results of the heuristic approach are compared with the optimal solution provided by the mathematical programming. Also we study the congestion issue in the picking process after determining the picking routes. The percentage gap between the optimal solution provided by mathematical programming and the heuristic methodology is in the range of 0% to 20%. The method proposed provides a good solution to the picking process in an acceptable amount of time having congestion in the range of 1% to 20%.