Custom Pick-to-Light / Operator Guidance Solutions Uses Banner Lights & Laser Emitters
An Upstate New York customer manufacturers drivetrain and powertrain systems for the automotive industry. The company had experienced productivity losses due to errors in the assembly of transmission valve bodies. During assembly an operator inserts five sizes of bolts into 30 spaces on the valve body. The bolts are then driven to a specific tension using torque guns. If the wrong size bolt is driven into a space, the entire valve body will be unusable and must be scrapped. The company turned to KOM to help develop a system that would reduce errors and improve the assembly process.
The company, along with KOM, developed an operator guidance system that increased component production and reduced errors. They integrated Banner sensors, indicator lights and touch buttons into the system to perform multiple guidance, indication and management functions.
Assembly Cycle – Once a transmission valve body has been delivered to the assembly station, the system operator touches an OPTO-TOUCH OTB optical touch button to initiate as assembly cycle. The OPTO-TOUCH is an ergonomic, touch activated photoelectric switch that replaces mechanical push buttons. Because it requires no force to activate, the OPTO-TOUCH greatly reduces physical stresses and equipment wear associated with repetitive push button operation.
Part Selection – The company installed five PVD100 pick-to-lights above five corresponding bins. At each stage of an assembly cycle, high-visibility green lights on the PVDs direct the operator to the appropriate bolts for installation. The PVD100 also detects the operator’s hand in the bin, verifying that the bolts have been pulled. The compact, one piece build of the PVD100 simplified installation onto the existing equipment.
Bolt Placement – Correct bolt placement is essential. Thirty WORLD-BEAM QS186LE circle laser emitters were installed over the work area with each emitter corresponding to a space on the valve body. Each sensor projects a circle at the corresponding to a space on the board that is to be filled with a bolt at the given stage. QS186LE sensors are visible diode emitters that are easy to align and highly accurate, making them ideal for precise applications.
Status Indication – EZ-LIGHT K50FL indicator lights were installed on the equipment to indicate the completion of each stage. When all of the bolts in a particular stage have been picked and placed, the K50FL illuminates bright green. If a stage is not complete or an error has occurred the K50FL shines red. Its high-visibility illumination, even in daylight, made it an ideal choice for this application.
The Banner products helped to build an efficient operator guidance system that helped to reduce errors and increase product output.