This post was published first on the Automation-Insights Blog of Balluff Inc.
Just when you thought the SmartLight was the most flexible Tower Indicator light ever, it gets even more flexible with the addition of a new mode. This new mode is appropriately named “Flexible Mode”. The new Flexible mode enables two new applications: User defined segments and Point-of-use indication.
User Defined Segments
For traditional tower light applications, it’s now possible to define the segments as you see fit. It works by taking control of every LED element. Each SmartLight segment is comprised of four LED elements that can be controlled anyway you want (see Figure 1). For example, with the 3-segment SmartLight, you actually have 12 LED elements that you can organize any way you want. In Figure 2, we only use three LED elements per SmartLight segment, making it a four segment SmartLight. By using two LED elements we create six segments. Figure 3 is even more interesting, in this example we can see the size of the segments are sized by the intended users. Forklift Drivers need a larger light due to the distance and the fact that they are moving. Operators are closer than the forklift drivers, so their segment can be smaller, and maintenance can use the smallest segments because they are closest to the SmartLight when working on the machine.
Point of Use Indication
In these types of applications, the SmartLight is used in close proximity, usually within the work envelope of the operators. In the example shown, the SmartLight is used in a socket tray application. The SmartLight indicates to the operator which socket is required for a specific task. Inductive proximity sensors connected to an IO-Link Hub verify the correct socket was pulled. The photo is showing an All-Call (all lights lit). Here you can see the unique LED element grouping only available with the new Flexible mode. Other applications for operator guidance are essentially endless. There are no technical limitations to your creativity.
The Flexible mode is available in all SmartLights with firmware version 3.0 or greater. So go have some fun!
Learn more about the SmartLight at www.balluff.com.