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Industrial Automation



Carton Conveyors and Pick-to-Light System

The carton conveyor and pick-to-light aspect of the “Movement Controller” is fully user configurable and provides for the control of the carton conveyors and the displays, with full graphical presentation of the status of the cartons, conveyors, devices, and pick-to-light units. Shown below is the MS-DOS version of this display:

Screen dump from DOS version of
Movement Controller, showing the
carton conveyor and pick-to-light system, converted to a “gif” file,
thereby losing some of the colour definition

By specifying the physical layout of the conveyor system and pick-to-light areas, the conveyor PLC code, the system mimic diagram and the carton routing algorithms can all be generated.

The mimic diagram provides the following features:

  • Status and control of all conveyors - running, stopped, in alarm, under manual control,
  • Status (and control where applicable) of all devices - barcode readers, diverters, check weighers, tape sealers, et cetera,
  • Status of all pick-areas, summarised via a single indication as to whether there is a problem (red), current picking (yellow), any stock (grey), or not (black) in the set of shelves constituting the pick-area. You can then zoom into a selected pick-area to see the locations of any fault, picking quantities for each location being picked, and the stock level for the remaining locations. Any one of these locations may be examined to see the details on the fault (loss of communications, or bad LED segment - in which case which segment), product details, stock level, and picking quantity. From here, given sufficient privilege, you can examine the memory (with symbolic information) of the microprocessor controlling the display for that location. “Pick-to-Light
  • Display of alarms.

The display can be zoomed and panned, however, you can also save your preferred zoom and pan settings as named “views” which can be called up conveniently. The example below is also from the MS-DOS version of the “Movement Controller”:

Screen dump from DOS version of
Movement Controller, showing the
despatch area of carton conveyor, converted to a “gif” file,
thereby losing some of the colour definition

The above shows the “despatch” area view of the conveyor system, in conveyor mode, with several conveyors in manual.

Also developed is the hardware for the pick-to-light units.

For more information on the operator interface to the carton conveyor system, please refer to the Operator's Manual sections Cartons Within the Conveyor System, Carton Conveyor System, Enter Orders for Picking, and Replenish the Pick Areas.