|Start Page Number:||945|
|End Page Number:||975|
|Publication Date:||Oct 2017|
|Authors:||Scholl Armin, Boysen Nils, Walter Rico, Otto Alena|
|Keywords:||design, personnel & manpower planning, combinatorial optimization, heuristics|
The aging society in many developed countries has made an ergonomic workplace design to an important topic among researchers and practitioners alike. We investigate the workplace design for order pickers that manually collect items from the shelves of a warehouse. Specifically, we treat the storage assignment, i.e., the placement of products in shelves of different height, and zoning, i.e., the partitioning of the storage space into areas assigned to separate pickers, in the fast pick area of a warehouse. A fast pick area unifies the most fast‐moving items in a compact area, so that workers are relieved from unproductive travel, but face extraordinary ergonomic risks due to the frequent repetition of picking operations. Concerning the health of (aged) workers, it is crucial to reduce such risks. Thus, we define a combined ergonomic storage assignment and zoning problem with the objective of minimizing the maximum ergonomic burden among all workers. This problem is formalized, and two construction heuristics and a tabu search procedure are proposed. Our results show that neglecting ergonomic aspects and only focusing on picking performance leads to much higher ergonomic risks of the workforce.