Operator Guidance Solution [Success Story]

Operator Guidance Solution Image

Henshaw’s transmission valve body assembly system combines WORLD-BEAM® QS186LE circle laser emitters installed above the work space, PVD100 pick-to-lights over the pick bins, EZ-LIGHT® K50L indicator lights and an OPTO-TOUCH® OTB optical touch button 

Customer Requirements: Operator guidance system for error-free assembly of transmission valve bodies 

Solution:   OPTO-TOUCH® OTB optical touch button initiates and ends assembly cycles, PVD100 pick-to-lights guide part picking, WORLD-BEAM® QS186LE circle laser emitters direct part placement, EZ-LIGHT® K50L indicator lights provide system status information

Why Banner? Implementation – The compact form factors and flexible mounting options of the Banner products integrated easily into the system

Guidance – Each QS186LE sensor projects a highly visible circle onto the work area corresponding to a specific location for a bolt

Visibility – Easy-to-see lights on the PVD100 and K50L indicate assembly stage as well as required parts for each stage

Customer Benefits

Efficiency – Easy-to-follow operator guidance simplifies processes, expedites build times and facilitates operator training

Improved Output – Error reduction leads to persistent increases in daily production

Longevity – The solid design and rugged build of the Banner products ensures many years of reliable performance

Background

Henshaw designs and builds advanced manufacturing and material handling systems and equipment. The company works closely with their customers to develop machinery that meets each customer’s unique needs and deliver it quickly. 

Challenges

A Henshaw customer manufactures drivetrain and powertrain systems for the automotive industry. The company had experienced productivity losses due to errors in the assembly of transmission valve bodies. During assembly an operator inserts five sizes of bolts into 30 spaces on the valve body. The bolts are then driven to a specific tension using torque guns. If the wrong size bolt is driven into a space, the entire valve body will be unusable and must be scrapped. Henshaw was tasked with developing a system that would reduce errors and improve the assembly process.

Solution

Henshaw developed an operator guidance system that increased component production and reduced errors. They integrated Banner sensors, indicator lights and touch buttons into the system to perform multiple guidance, indication and management functions.

Assembly Cycle – Once a transmission valve body has been delivered to the assembly station, the system operator touches an OPTO-TOUCH® OTB optical touch button to initiate an assembly cycle. The OPTO-TOUCH is an ergonomic, touch activated photoelectric switch that replaces mechanical push buttons. Because it requires no force to activate, the OPTO-TOUCH greatly reduces physical stresses and equipment wear associated with repetitive push button operation.

Part Selection – Henshaw installed five PVD100 pick-to-lights above five corresponding bins. At each stage of an assembly cycle, high-visibility green lights on the PVDs direct the operator to the appropriate bolts for installation. The PVD100 also detects the operator’s hand in the bin, verifying that the bolts have been pulled. The compact, one piece build of the PVD100 simplified installation into Henshaw’s equipment. 

Part Selection in Pick Bins Image

PVD100s guide the operator to the correct pick bin for each stage of assembly

Bolt Placement – Correct bolt placement is essential. Thirty WORLD-BEAM® QS186LE circle laser emitters were installed over the work area with each emitter corresponding to a space on the valve body. Each sensor projects a circle at the corresponding space on the board that is to be filled with a bolt at the given stage. QS186LE sensors are visible diode emitters that are easy to align and highly accurate, making them ideal for precise applications. 

Bolt Placement Image
Bolt Placement Image
Bolt Placement Image

Deployed over the work area, QS186LE laser emitters project circles onto the valve body to direct bolt placement

Status Indication – EZ-LIGHT® K50L indicator lights were installed on the equipment to indicate the completion of each stage. When all of the bolts in a particular stage have been picked and placed, the K50L illuminates bright green. If a stage is not complete or an error has occurred the K50L shines red. The K50L was easy to install and price competitive. Its high-visibility illumination, even in daylight, made it an ideal choice for this application.

Conclusion

Banner products perform critical functions in Henshaw’s operator guidance system. An assembly cycle is initiated using an OPTO-TOUCH OTB optical touch button. PVD100 pick-to-lights direct the operator to the bolts to be placed at each stage. The WORLD-BEAM QS186LE sensors indicate which spaces the bolts are to fill in a stage. When a stage is complete and all the bolts had been placed, an EZ-LIGHT K50L indicator light will signal the assembler. The Banner products helped to build an efficient operator guidance system that helped their customer reduce errors and increase product output. 


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