The effect of worker fatigue on the performance of a bucket brigade order picking system
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Order picking (OP) remains a very costly process with a high amount of manual human work. Different management policies have been developed in the past to improve the performance of order picking systems. Among these is the Bucket Brigade (BB), which is a self-organizing concept for manual OP systems with promising impact on the throughput rate. One general problem of manual OP systems is that worker fatigue can become an issue leading to decreased worker performance and an increased risk of injuries. This is one of the reasons why some researchers highlighted the importance of considering human factors in the design and operations of manual OP systems. This paper develops a mathematical model for managing a Bucket Brigade order picking (BBOP) system subject to worker fatigue. Numerical experiments illustrate the behavior of the model and how worker fatigue affects the performance of a BBOP system.