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The leading manufacturer of HVAC knows the future

Like many others, this manufacturer was looking for a pick-to-light system to increase their efficiency and reduce failure rates in their order fulfillment – leading to customer frustration and increased cost. As an innovative Company concerned about their employee’s health, they were not convinced with the standard pick-to-light solutions available on the market.

A standard pick-to-light system (similar to illustration 1) usually consist of a 7 Segment or Dot-Matrix Display and a mechanical activator to confirm the employees pick.

Besides the longevity of mechanical push buttons, which is usually advertised with 1 Million activation cycles, the average activation force is arguably high with 6 Newton (1.35 pounds) per activation, leading to ergonomic issues.

Therefore they were concerned that a pick-to-light system would not provide the necessary benefits to justify this relatively large investment necessary to implement such a system. While the display- and activator units are relatively inexpensive, the mounting support as well as the wires, necessary software licenses and installation work quickly add up.

In regards to the longevityof a mechanical pick-to-light system, the issue with numerous lifetime calculations performed by manufacturers to define a lifecycle of a product fail to consider the ever-changing environment and its effects on the equipment itself, e.g.

  • dust and mist
  • ruff operation behavior through employees
  • changing temperatures within the operating environment
  • vandalism

To summarize it, the tests are rarely performed in a real-world environment – which results in misleading figures.

Looking at the activation force required to activate mechanical push buttons, employees would push virtually more than a 1,000 pounds (or 10.76 sacks of cement) per day with one finger– increasing the possibilities of a disease called “typist neuritis”.

However, as a pick-to-light systems offers great advantage with an average increase in picker productivity from 20% to 50% beyond ordinary paper picking – it makes sense to have such a system. Furthermore, the on job training time as well as false picking rates could almost be eliminated – if installed correctly.

For more than 35 years, we have developed and perfected capacitive technology for both level measurement and activation sensors and offer a state of the art and vandal proof technology, offering more than a 100 Mio. Activation cycles.

The technology offers completely shock- and water-resistant products which work in extreme environments (-0…+122° Fahrenheit).

Therefore, we have applied all our knowledge and experience gained over the years within Industrial Automation, Traffic and Transport and Building Technology to develop a tailor made solution for the material handling industry – the smartCAP.

smartCAP in action

smartCAP is virtually maintenance free and can even deal with the toughest operator, requiring ‘just a simple touch’ rather than a mechanical operation.  The smartCAP has been in operation for almost 2 years now and is continuing to grow by the day.

The main advantages of the product as reported by the customer are listed as

  • Increased efficiency by another 13.5% (65% in total opposed to ordinary paper picking)
  • 0 Failures in Operation
  • Open accessible interface
  • Customizable through different light colors, animations and different activation types
  • Market leader in withstanding even the harshest environments
  • Reduced learning curve & training
  • ADA Compliant (serves color blind people)
  • Value for Money is beyond everything known

More Information about smartCAP, videos and technical documentation are available here.

Close up view on HVAC units (heating ventilation and air conditioning). 3D rendered illustration.