An Audible Alert Indicator For In-line Use with Tower Lights

January 23, 2023 by Shawn Dietrich

Banner Engineering has introduced an audible indicator to its existing family of modular, in-line light tower indicators to provide real-time audible alerts to operators.

In the world of automation sensors and components, Banner Engineering is known around the world. Banner specializes in sensors from photoelectric to fiber optics, along with barcode, vision solutions, and connectivity technology. Recently, Banner added an audible connection module to their in-line modular tower light series. 


TL15 In-Line Series

The TL15AQ from the TL15 in-llne series. Image used courtesy of Banner Engineering


TL15 In-line Series

Indicating to an operator or supervisor the real-time status of a machine is important to keeping production rolling. Typically, this real-time report is accomplished with light towers. A light tower is a combination of different colored lights stacked on top of each other.

The PLC will illuminate the different sections to show the current status of the equipment. Red indicates a fault or alarm, green is a running state, and yellow is a warning state. Usually, the transition of each condition includes an audible alarm.

The TL15 in-line series modular lights are 15 mm diameter indicators that can be attached to one another to form a light tower. The TL15A5Q takes the place of a light section and provides audible signals. The TL15 is IP67 rated and utilizes 12-30 VDC with a standard m12 5-pin connector at each end.


addressing and wiring of TL15 In-Line series

The entire light tower can be addressed using a standard 5-pin M12 manufactured cable. Image used courtesy of Banner Engineering


Addressing and Wiring

Each colored or audible module uses one of the five pins to activate its function. For example, the green module (TL15G4Q) will activate when the voltage is applied to pin 4, and the TL15G1Q (also a green indicator module) will activate when the voltage is applied to pin 1. By using the part number, you can determine when each module will activate. The entire light tower can be addressed using a standard 5-pin M12 manufactured cable. 

The audible module uses pins 1, 2, or 5 and does not pass through, meaning the audible module should be the last in the tower. The sound intensity has a typical rating of 79 dB at 1 m from the device and an oscillation frequency of 2.9 kHz. 

The overall size of each module is approximately 57.8 mm long by 15 mm diameters, which makes these indicators very small in comparison to typical light towers. 


light tower made accessible to operator

The TL15 light tower is small and compact, making its placement more accessible to operators. Image used courtesy of Banner Engineering


Application and Uses

Your typical light tower is usually mounted on top of the guard fence that wraps around the perimeter of the equipment. When that specific equipment has an alarm or warning, the proper section of the light tower will illuminate. Getting the operator's attention sometimes requires more than a light tower above their heads. With the TL15 light tower being so small and compact, the placement can be more accessible to the operator.

Supervisors sometimes have a desk near the equipment and with the low voltage of the TL15, multiple stacks can be routed to a remote location, giving the supervisor a real-time indication of multiple lines. The TL15 uses standard discrete outputs from a PLC or controller to manipulate the different states of the light tower, making the TL15 a flexible choice to indicate states to operators or supervisors.