Green light for manual workstations in manufacturing
Worker assistance system featuring Pick-by-Light for increased efficiency
In recent years, production lines and individual workstations have been upgraded for various reasons across all industries. Process chains, for example, have been redesigned and manual activities have been partially or fully automated using assistance systems. The upgrade of an assistance system at manual workplaces can vary: From a simple digital display with instructions to automatic inspection and verification by image processing (with automatic documentation) - any combination can be found in production facilities all over the world.
A good mix is the key
Today, modern upgradeable worker assistance systems allow companies to confidently respond to increasingly complex customer requirements. By adding a Pick-by-Light system (PbL) the work area can be upgraded with gripper containers or tools with small controllable modules, for example.
These modules can be combined in a variety of ways and individually adapted to the needs of different work areas. Be it simple illuminated pushbuttons, displays with quantity indication, acoustic signal transmitters or a personalized combination of all together.
Integration into assistance systems
For instance, as in the case of the Smart Klaus, the PbL modules are connected by an interface using a RJ45 socket. This ensures that the right module can be triggered just at the right moment.
By adjusting internal settings of Smart Klaus, one can select the color in which the button shold glow or blink. Furthermore, the quantity of workpieces can be indicated, which is then shown on the display of the corresponding gripper container. This way, the operator no longer has to switch back and forth between various programs.
The functionality is simple, but effective. During an assembly process, the worker is guided by the assistance system via the screen: "Which component should be installed where and how?" The integrated PbL shows the assembler where the part to be processed is located at the workstation by lighting up or flashing. As soon as it has been picked and correctly installed, the worker assistance system automatically verifies this and switches to the next process step and its associated PbL setting.
Assembly line, production cell or simple workbench
The areas of application of the PbL module are classic stationary manual workstations. Workers are supported throughout the entire value chain, from incoming goods to production (assembly, placement) and outgoing goods. This PbL solution is used in a wide range of industries. Industries such as automotive, electronics, medical technology or aerospace benefit from this simple and flexible automation.
Experienced employees benefit from the add-on as assurance against errors in the process. Additionally, modifications in the process can be implemented easily.
The advantage for new employees is faster familiarization with processes, without the need of an additional supervisor. The result is: instruction-by-doing.