The development of modern and intuitive picking systems has been part of SAFELOG GmbH since the company was founded. Particular focus is placed on pick-by-light and put-to-light technology. It ensures the highest picking performance while actively avoiding picking errors. This is made possible, among other things, by the ASi-5 communication technology. The solution is used in the so-called “Factory 56” of Mercedes-Benz Group AG in Sindelfingen.

The individual picking system components from SAFELOG can be flexibly combined with each other. This makes customised solutions possible. Existing systems can also be modified or expanded at any time. The key is the ASi-5 communication technology, which connects the control unit with integrated touch screen to up to 96 receiver devices via a special two-core profile cable. The ASi master, as part of the control unit, organises the data traffic on the ASi lines. At the individual compartment displays or display modules, an ASi-5 module functions as an interface. Each device can be connected to the system via this, whereby a wide variety of topologies can be implemented. Each connected device receives its own frequency channel to communicate with the master.

ASi-5 – one cable makes the difference

ASi-5 is a so-called field bus – a bus system that connects sensors and actuators to an ASi master for the exchange of information. The special feature here is a special two-core profile cable. This transmits information to connected devices and at the same time takes over the power supply. The cable ensures reduced wiring effort and a free choice of topology. Compared to the ASi-3 version, the new generation can transmit higher data widths in a much shorter time and with a larger number of modules. ASi-5 communicates in a different frequency range than ASi-3, so that the new standard can be integrated into an existing ASi bus topology without complications.

Mercedes-Benz benefits from new standards at SAFELOG

ASi-5 technology is now standard in all SAFELOG products. It was used for the first time in a greenfield project of Mercedes-Benz Group AG – the “Factory 56”. In addition to AGVs, the company from Markt Schwaben also supplied a pick-by-light system. The ASi-5 components were installed and commissioned in cooperation with the experts from Bihl+Wiedemann GmbH. “The major project at Mercedes-Benz started shortly after the introduction of ASi-5. The technology was used here for the first time and very successfully at the same time,” explains Frank Lelonek, branch manager at SAFELOG. “The special challenge for us in this project was to provide the first high-quality terminals for use in industry shortly after the ASi-5 technology was released,” adds Sven Meister, Key Account Manager Automotive at Bihl+Wiedemann. “This was possible, among other things, because as part of the ASi-5 development community we knew directly which applications were solvable with the new ASi-5 ASIC.”

Higher bandwidth and a more flexible storage system

When implementing the pick-by-light system, the significantly higher data bandwidth of ASi-5 compared to ASi-3, where it is limited to 4 bits per module, allowed two applications to be implemented. On the one hand, a display with four RGB segments and a button was implemented for the individual compartments. To control the individual lamps of the display individually, 12 bits of data are required, which are transmitted via ASi-5. In addition, so-called eTag display modules were used. These modules, equipped with two push-buttons and two RGB lighting elements, replace the classic marking of storage locations on paper with displays that are simply retransmitted as needed, thus making the entire storage system much more flexible. The control as well as the transmission of the images for the displays is also done via ASi-5.

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Author: Alexander Strunz, Referent Unternehmenskommunikation & PR (v.i.S.d.P.)

SAFELOG GmbH | Henleinstraße 4
85570 Markt Schwaben | Germany