Pick-to-Light in SmartFactoryOWL

With its extensive pick-to-light system Turck is demonstrating in the SmartFactoryOWL the benefits of light-controlled worker guidance in manual assembly processes

The SmartFactoryOWL is a demonstration platform that provides support in intelligent automation for small to medium-sized companies on the way to digitized production. As a partner of the SmartFactoryOWL, Turck is represented with a pick-to-light system, which consists entirely of its own portfolio, from the sensor to connection technology and I/O technology, right through to control and visualization including programming. Thanks to an Ethernet-based end-to-end communication, it is open for connection to higher-level systems for networking the SmartFactoryOWL. This kind of pick-to-light system opens the door for manual assembly processes to the production processes of Industry 4.0.
  • The workers acknowledge the removal of the indicated component by touching the Banner K30 sensor light

  • The employees at the SmartFactoryOWL: David Brown, Prof. Sven Hinrichsen, Tim Kleineberg, Melissa Paris

  • Turck’s pick-to-light system boasted an impressive range of sensor lights in Lemgo

  • The small Banner K30 lights are ideally suited to incorporating the C parts containers

SmartFactoryOWL opened in April

In an area of approx. 2000 square meters, the model factory SmartFactoryOWL founded in April 2016 by the University of Applied Sciences East Westphalia-Lippe (OWL) and the Fraunhofer Institute collects different solutions that make production processes smarter. In cooperation with companies, the SmartFactoryOWL exhibits examples of innovative production technologies and assistance systems.

However, the SmartFactoryOWL is designed to be more than just an exhibition area. A team of professors, employees and students in Lemgo aim to promote the networking of industrial challenges and academic know-how in order to optimize production processes through clever planning and technology.

Extensive pick-to-light portfolio

For example the mechanical engineering company Brandt Kantentechnik from Lemgo, a manufacturer of wood processing machines for gluing edge bands, wanted to optimize a manual assembly process that was complex with plenty of variants.

It soon became clear that assistance system technologies had to be used as well as work design measures. Researcher David Brown therefore suggested optimizing the process with a pick-to-light solution. The system had to be as flexible as possible, allow a large selection of different sensor lights and should be adapt without any major programming effort required. The system also had to be networkable, i.e. have an Ethernet interface in order to connect it to SAP or other higher-level systems.

Complete solution from the sensor to the controller

The pick-to-light system from Turck and its optical sensor partner Banner Engineering was chosen. Besides the pick-to-light components used, the system approach of the solution was also impressive. Turck could not only supply different sensor lights for process control but also offer a comprehensive solution directly, which also consisted of connection and I/O technology including the controller, as well as the visual support for the worker via the HMI. A programmable gateway for the IP67-rated BL67 I/O system acts here as the controller.

Turck programmed the pick-to-light application on the gateway with Codesys 3, which contains the TargetVisu tool for the visualization of the individual assembly steps. The system was implemented so that users can enter new product configurations themselves without any programming required.

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