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Pick-to-Light in Electronic Production

Turck has optimized THT assembly at its Halver production site with two pick-to-light systems

Greater ergonomics, faster processes and lower costs – this is the result of a process optimization that Turck has implemented for its Halver site for the manual assembly of electronic boards. Instead of using the previous Royonic assembly tables, employees assemble the boards on two pick-to-light workplaces. The new solution was planned and implemented by Turck subsidiary Mechatec in close cooperation with the Halver production planners.
  • Employees at the new pick-to-light workplaces work more ergonomically and with greater concentration

  • Turck’s BL67 I/O system processes the signals of the plant and communicates with the IPC via Modbus TCP

  • The image on the display gives precise instructions for inserting the next component

  • The employees confirm the removal and fitting of the components by touching the capacitive sensor light

  • This monitor displays production efficiency

  • The two racks are positioned in 90 degrees angle to save space

  • Refilling the rack on the fly prevents production stops

When wired electronic components have to be fitted manufacturers often use the THT process (through hole technology). Components here are inserted through contact holes in the board, which even today still requires manual assembly work. To accomplish this, employees place the individual electronic components on boards and use a soldering wave unit to form a permanent connection with the PCB track.

Depending on the size of a board and the number of components to be fitted, this assembly process can be very complex. Turck decided to implement a pick-to-light solution with system components from Turck. The transport of the frame also had to be automated, which eliminated the need for employees to carry the frames and also optimized manufacturing. As such, it was no longer necessary for logistics processes such as the restocking of components to interrupt assembly, as these could be carried out by the logistics employees.

Pick-to-light solution for efficient THT assembly

With its pick-to-light solutions, Turck has already provided several customers with workplaces for manual mounting and order picking. The data is logged so that any further optimizations can be identified during later analysis. Today, the employees stand in front of two ergonomically designed pick-to-light shelving systems which are provided with up to 48 compartments for holding the components to be assembled.

Efficient assembly process

An assembly process starts with the insertion of the empty boards into the frame carrier. The large HMI/PLC screens visually indicate the individual work steps and the next component to be fitted, with the location and the assembly position on the board. The display on the monitor also serves as a work instruction at the same time. This eliminates the need for any training time and enables production employees to be deployed more flexibly. Besides the display on the monitor, an activated light indicates the shelf location from which the employee has to take the current component to be fitted.

After the employee has fitted the component on the board, she confirms this operating step by touching the capacitive pick-to-light sensor and the visualization on the monitor indicates the next assembly location. The pick-to-light sensor indicates on the shelf locations the next component to be taken. Once the boards are complete, the employee pushes the frame to the conveyor belt. The frames with the assembled boards are automatically moved via the conveyor belt to the soldering wave unit and then back to the workplaces. Here the employee takes out the fully assembled and soldered boards and refills the frame with empty boards for the next operation.

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