Wolfgang Heldt, responsible for InSystems Automation’s sales and distribution of Pick-2-Light-Technology, talks about a surprisingly useful piece of industry 4.0-innovation that currently captures new markets.
Pick-2-Light-Technology captures new markets
Industry 4.0 is a hot topic. New products and ideas seem to pop up every day. What is it that makes Pick-2-Light so remarkable?
Simply put, Pick-2-Light describes a construction and assembly process led by light signals. It’s a paperless process in which workers are led by lights signalling which next steps to take during construction procedures. Sensors help to show what to do next and thus allow a system creating reliable guidance. Should a worker ever take a wrong step, red lights will flash to warn them.
The Pick-2-Light system follows the japanese „Poka Yoke“-principle. Its goal is to eliminate as many unnecessary sources of error as possible. This is especially useful in the case of complex products where workers need to focus on the task at hand. Pick-2-Light-Technology enables them to do just that, without being distracted by job time tickets, parts lists or assembly drawings. Additional information can be displayed on a monitor if necessary.
Depending on case of usage and client wishes, we are able to offer three versions of Pick-2-Light-sensors: digital and with CAN Bus or, for sensitive precision assembly parts, with ESD electrostatic discharge.
These sensors are small, compact and can be controlled individually. This means there is no need for an extra switches necessary in other systems, which helps save a lot of time.
Since when does Pick-2-Light exist and which industries use it?
The technology used for the Pick-2-Light-system is not a new one, it has existed for several years. But the demand for Pick-2-Light-sensors has significantly risen in recent years. We at InSystems sell these sensors since 2013, and while it used to be difficult at timest o convince customers to use this kind of technology, we now receive a lot of queries about them, usually from medium-sized, owner-led organisations that tend to be highly specialised on their product and sell them globally.
In Germany, Hotspots for Pick-2-Light usage are North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. There are many different industries that may take interest, such as high-frequency engineering, safety engineering, fittings technology, electrical engineering, motor component suppliers or producers of electric motors.
Why do customers usually decide to contact you and which advantages does Pick-2-Light have?
Customers decide to install our Pick-2-Light-technology for many different reasons. Usually, however, it is because their organisations lose what I like to call their „old hands“, people with many years of experience who knew every assembly process in detail. When people like that retire, organisations are often faced with a challenge to compensate such a loss without lowering their product quality.
In other cases, it may be high rates of construction mistakes, assembly speed issues or simply a worker turnover rate too highto ensure that each is familiar with their processes. Problems like these can be minimised using the Pick-2-Light-system. New workers are able to start working independently faster and do not need as much previous experience. Basically, our customers invest once in our technology to save many costs in the long run.
Which organisations already use InSystems‘ Pick-2-Light-sensors? Could you describe an example of how they use them?
We gained many new customers over the years who are very satisfied with our Pick-2-Light-technology. To name only a few, there are Bosch Rexroth, EBM Papst, Harting, Viega, Kathrein GmbH and the Centre for Mechatronics and Automation Technology as well as the Fraunhofer-association.
We also won new co-operation partners over, one of those being the RK Rose + Krieger GmbH, with whom we share a very trusting relationship at this point.
A specific example showing our technology’s worth would be a large company from the medical industry. It had an issue with the final packaging of certain instruments. Tiny parts like sealing rings were often forgotten and not commissioned. This error rate was significantly lowered thanks to Pick-2-Light.
What are your future plans with Pick-2-Light?
Our goal is win more of the german market over and start expanding tot he european market by co-operating with others. Right now, I believe our chances to succeed are promising.