Optical Sensing and Picking Indication All in One New Banner Device

August 21, 2023 by Shawn Dietrich

Banner Engineering combines sensing, indication, and some basic programmable logic into the new PVS28 device, particularly targeted for use in the logistics and fulfillment industry.

Banner Engineering has long been at the leading edge when it comes to optical part sensing. Banner’s extensive product line includes photoelectric sensors, fiber optic sensors and amplifiers, slot and area detection sensors, along with a product line targeted for bin picking indicators and sensors.

Recently, Banner has introduced the PVS28 to combine two historically separate functions that aid in the bin-picking process common in warehouses and fulfillment centers.


Banner's new sensor and indicator device

Banner’s new PVS28, both a visual indicator and a sensor packaged into one product. Image used courtesy of Banner Engineering


Bin Picking

In some packaging or warehouse facilities, components need to be picked from a series of bins that have indicators and buttons. When the order comes to the station, the bins with the required components have indicators that light up, informing the operator to pick those components. When a component is picked, the operator pushes the button informing the control system that the item has been picked. Banner has a complete line of indicators, sensors, and capacitance buttons to allow designers to build elegant and useful bin-picking stations.


PVS28 Optical Sensing And Indicator

The PVS28 is a programmable touchless sensor that will determine if an operator has picked components from the proper bin and can also indicate which bin to pick from.

The sensing component will detect the operator's hand reaching into the bin. The sensor is capable of operating either as a diffused sensor or as a retroreflective sensor. Both sensing modes are adjustable, with the diffuse mode ranging from 20 to 500 mm and the retroreflective mode sensing up to 1 m.

The PVS28 comes standard with three operating modes; object, background, and window, all of which can be set using remote pulses. The unit uses a standard M12 5-pin connector with a 150 mm lead.


Bin picking involves instructions and verification

Bin picking requires indicators to give instructions to the user, and sensors to verify that the instructions were accomplished. Image used courtesy of Banner Engineering


Indicating Lights

In typical fulfillment centers, indicator lights are used to inform the operator which bin to pick components from. These lights are commonly very bright and can be separated from the acknowledgment devices. With the PVS28, both the sensing and indicator lights are in the same device.

The PVS28 comes standard with green, yellow, and red indicator lights. The green indicator light is driven from the control system and informs the operator which bin to pick from. The yellow light is an automatic acknowledgment that the operator has reached into the bin. The red indicator light is to inform the operator they have reached into the wrong bin.

With photoelectric sensing, there is no physical touch needed to indicate a bin has been picked from. This reduces operator fatigue and reduces the number of required movements of the operator.


Multiple indicator color options

The colors red, yellow, and green are enabled by default, but the Pro Editor software allows more color and animation adjustment. Image used courtesy of Banner Engineering


Pro Editor Software Customizing

Banner’s programming software Pro Editor is used to program the PVS28 for additional indicating colors (7 total are available) and animations. Output logic, such as delays, can also be programmed using the editor software. While the PVS28 does have discrete inputs and outputs, which do not require programming, the addition of the software allows for an added touch of customization.


Applications of Bin Picking Indicators

With online shopping being so popular these days, fulfillment centers are becoming a popular way of getting products out to customers quickly. An operator's station in a fulfillment center is not unlike an operator's station in a factory. Both stations require an operator to perform a repetitive task, and these visual indicator lights are used to inform the operator of the proper picking procedure.

Typically, an order filling station would have lights for the bins and separate buttons to confirm what has been picked. Banner has combined those devices into a single unit and added some internal logic to reduce the need for complex communication with the central control system.