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
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 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.