Pick-by-light Solution Facilitates Assembly Processes

How the digitalization of order picking, assembly and planning processes reduces work for employees and makes it more efficient

Errors occur wherever people work. In production and assembly processes they happen now and again even to the most conscientious and experienced workers. The wrong component or the wrong number of components may for example be taken from a container. They may possibly also be assembled in the wrong order. The worker must be able to identify the next parts container quickly and easily if greater efficiency and accuracy in assembly is to be achieved. A customized system for light-guided worker support clearly indicates the container from which the co-worker is to take the next part. The system also logs the removal and indicates immediately the next container. 

As individual solutions are normally very expensive due to the high development costs, the CSAE system house developed a pick-to-light software based on the experience, ideas and customer requirements of the past 25 years. This provides functions to cover most typical requirements as well as the needs of new customers. This controller software is the basis for customer applications and is considerably less expensive than the programming of a tailored solution.

Easy modular expansion

The controller software is the central component in the “Smart Light Touch” modular system. Another element is the shelf, although the system always operates independently of the shelf type and can be adapted both to new shelf systems as well as to existing shelf systems of the customer. Modbus/TCP-capable components from Turck complete the CSAE pick-by-light solution, which primarily includes the PTL110 indicator with a 7-segment display, light buttons and optical sensor, the small K30 Pro LED indicator with a light button as well as the WLS LED work light without a button element.

  • The simple installation of the “Smart Light Touch” pick-by-light system is unique on the market

  • The robust TBEN-L-PLC IP67 PLC offers many possibilities for interface connectionand visual indication

  • Oliver Gundlach | CSAE

  • Pick-to-light devices of the Banner PTL110 series can be used without the need for additional tools

  • User-friendly: the entire system is commissioned easily via a web page

  • Sarah Wedekind: “We offer an intuitive and simple system that customers can configure on their own.”

TBEN-L-PLC eliminates the disadvantages of PC-based controllers

CSAE looked for a PLC for the controller software of Smart Light Touch that has capacity for SAP and other interface connections as well as options for visual indication. The company decided to use Turck’s robust TBEN-L-PLC compact PLC. The IP67 controller is designed for industrial use and, as a block IO module, enables the design of cabinet-free modular machine concepts for Industry 4.0 and IIoT. It not only comes with a Codesys PLC on board but also allows a direct cloud connection. Thanks to its multiprotocol technology, it can also communicate via different Ethernet protocols at the same time. 

Easy installation and commissioning

The easy installation of the CSAE system is unique on the market – from the setup of the shelf right through to commissioning: “Not even a screwdriver is needed for the setup,” says Gundlach. “And the commissioning is simply carried out via a web page – nothing more. A USP that is yet to find its equal.” The system is designed so that any customer can plug together the hardware components of Smart Light Touch on their shelf on their own – without any technical instruction. The individual components are fitted to the shelf with click and screw mechanisms.“We also take into account the needs of small to medium-sized businesses that cannot afford a programmer,” says sales manager Sarah Wedekind. 

Personalization through individual color settings

Smart Light Touch detects at any time via a higher-level system or a transponder which worker is currently working. After logging into the system, workers can set the colors to their individual preferences or needs. A worker with red-green color blindness, for example, can select alternative colors to red and green in order to carry out the work without any difficulty. Corporate colors can also be set or the favorite colors with the worker. The colors can naturally also be set to indicate to workers immediately the tool they are to use with the currently taken part. This enables each worker to design their workstation as they like.

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