Pick-to-Light for Manual Assembly

Turck Banner Italia presented a pick-to-light solution for intralogistics and material handling that perfectly meets the requirements of greater efficiency in manual assembly stations. At SPS Italia, Luca Martini, Business Development Manager System Sales, showed us the new highly ergonomic and user-friendly PTL110 system in action, also featuring
a simplified connection protocol.

by Leonardo Albino

Creating order management workstations that act quickly, minimizing possible errors. In the name of innovation, Turck Banner Italia has released a profoundly renewed version of its pick-to-light system for intralogistics and material handling. A cutting-edge solution indeed, particularly suitable for use in manual assembly stations.
At the various picking points, with an operator who collects the necessary elements for each different order, with the aim of simplifying and speeding up the process, a PTL110 is installed under each container. The specific colours are assigned for each order and the PTLs light up with the corresponding colour – for example, blue – thus instructing the operator to pick up objects from all the containers with the selection buttons illuminated in blue.
The display indicates the quantity to be selected. After the operator has transferred the items from each basket to the corresponding kit container, he will press the blue button to indicate that they are finished and the light goes out. The process is repeated with additional colours and once all the lights are off, the order composition is complete. Each touch button can also be a two-colour indicator for additional programming flexibility when assembling multiple orders at the same time.

Providing the operator with useful information
“The world has changed and there is an increasing need for information”, explains Luca Martini, Business Development Manager System Sales at Turck Banner Italia. “For this reason, our company has designed a system capable to provide the operator with useful information.
The PTL110 gives the possibility to scroll the texts, and therefore the information, and to change the colour of the button, making it possible to work even with four different lists at the same time, guided by the colours. The other relevant innovation concerns wiring, as the in-line system eliminates the need for complex wiring.
In addition, the PTL110 devices are equipped with PICK-IQ™, a specially designed Modbus-compatible serial bus protocol relying on a shared ID to reduce typical latency from polling multiple devices”.
Not surprisingly, the fast response speed makes the PTL110 an ideal solution for production and assembly stations based on several picking points, as it does not slow down the order picking process.
The PTL110 pick-to-light devices are also scalable for extended or expanding picking stations. The PTL110 series is available with optical and touch sensor capabilities for versatility in solving a variety of applications. They can be used together or stand-alone to confirm picking actions and secondary functions. The optional display can indicate part count or provide other instructions in alphanumeric characters.

Thinking about ergonomics
Compared to previous versions, the PTL110 system guarantees a significant improvement in terms of ergonomics, an aspect that has indeed great importance in the current manufacturing industry.
“For example – adds Luca Martini – the presence of a capacitive button means that the operator no longer has to take off the glove to press the button. Generally speaking, the trend is to strain the operator as little as possible. Moreover – and this is an aspect that may seem secondary, but it is not – the PTL110 has also been designed to be used by people with reading difficulties. The use of different colours makes it more intuitive and means that, for the operators, reading the information on the display is not the only option”.

Applications in non-industrial fields
The possible applications of the new PTL110 developed by Turck Banner do not only concern the strictly industrial field. Experimental studies are underway to apply the material handling model also in the context of large distribution networks.
“Today, large-scale distribution is increasingly focusing on online shopping. At the moment, the customer’s order is handled manually by the employees who pick up the products required from the shelves”, explains Mr Martini. “However, the possibility of automating the process so that the employee can receive orders on a device is being studied.
The products to be picked will be associated with an ID that is supposed to speed up the operation, thus greatly improving, once the electronics on the shelves is introduced, the overall efficiency”.