Bar code readers with Profinet in Siemens logistics center

  • Mit PROFINET inside tragen die Barcodeleser BCL 548i von Leuze electronic zu mehr Dynamik im Liefercenter am Siemens-Standort Erlangen bei.

  • Integrierte Schnittstellen vereinfachen das Handling erheblich.s

  • Schnelle und einfache Konfigruation mit dem webConfig-Tool – hier lässt sich beispielsweise die Lesefeldbreite per grafischen Schieberegler softwaretechnisch eingrenzen.

  • Mit PROFINET inside tragen die Barcodeleser BCL 548i von Leuze electronic zu mehr Dynamik im Liefercenter am Siemens-Standort Erlangen bei.

  • Mit PROFINET inside tragen die Barcodeleser BCL 548i von Leuze electronic zu mehr Dynamik im Liefercenter am Siemens-Standort Erlangen bei.

  • Integrierte Schnittstellen vereinfachen das Handling erheblich.

  • Integrierte Schnittstellen vereinfachen das Handling erheblich.

  • Schnelle und einfache Konfigruation mit dem webConfig-Tool – hier lässt sich beispielsweise die Lesefeldbreite per grafischen Schieberegler softwaretechnisch eingrenzen.

Increased dynamics in the Siemens logistics center in Erlangen

Bar code readers with PROFINET enable route choices in real-time

At the Siemens site in Western Erlangen, the Drive Technologies Division in the Siemens Industry Sector produces controls and drives. The associated logistics center (LC) is being modernized by the Industry Solutions Division of Siemens AG to master growing throughput in the same amount of space with even higher efficiency. The real-time Ethernet capability of Leuze electronic BCL 548i bar code readers with PROFINET contributes considerably to the dynamic control of telpher lines.

Saturday, shortly before 1 p.m. in the delivery center at the Siemens site in Erlangen: Michael Hofmann prepares for the end of the shift; not, however, because he has the rest of the weekend off. He and his colleagues in the Industry Solutions Division of Siemens AG want to take advantage of the plant standstill until Sunday evening to push ahead the modernization of the conveyor systems. The software engineer is well prepared to efficiently use the tight time frame. It also helps that he, among other things, has already configured the BCL 548i bar code readers from Leuze electronic to be mounted today – with integrated PROFINET via PLC, this is no problem.

At Siemens in Erlangen, Sinumerik and Simotion controls as well as the Simodrive, Sinamics and Simovert Masterdrives type drives have been manufactured for 40 years. Around 6,900 trucks with trailers are needed annually to deliver these products. "In total, the delivery center handles up to 1,420 orders with up to 5,100 positions and a tonnage of about 98 tons daily in three shifts, six days a week", reports Jürgen Obermeier from the Industry Solutions Division.

Due to various retrofitting and optimization measures, the project manager knows the system installed around 12 years ago like the back of his hand. "With the current measures, an additional throughput increase of up to 6,500 positions should be achieved daily in the same amount of space", explains Obermeier. This requires in parts changes of the routing for the telpher lines (TLs) combined with an additional hall transfer system and modernization of communications.

The head control is an S7-CPU 416F, the TL vehicles are each equipped with an S7-313. Both have PROFINET on board. The communication to the vehicles is done via IWLAN, a WLAN system developed by Siemens for special industrial use. "The renewed throughput increase is primarily achieved with an optimized flow of goods with flexible and more direct paths", says Hofmann.

More quickly available TLs increase the frequency

Up to now, all 24 TLs have been led through the order-picking and dispatch areas in a continuous closed loop. The entire system totals around 320 m, on which pallets are sent to the order picking stations from the high-bay warehouse and picked orders are transported to the shipping area. At the same time, pallets with remaining goods are transported back to the high-bay warehouse. Up to now, the rigid loop also led the TLs through the cycle in the shipping area. "For a length of about 90 meters and a travel speed of maximum one meter per second, it's not hard to calculate how much time is wasted before these telpher lines are available for the next order", illustrates Hofmann.

In order to increase the frequency of the pallet movements, paths are to be shortened with a reconfiguration of the transport system to the shipping area and newly-installed switches, which will lead to incredibly high availability. Bar code readers are used to control the flows of goods. They allow the TLs in storage to, so to say, "marry" the newly-collected pallets, meaning the products to be picked. In the further transport course, decisions on the routes to order picking or shipping stations are made at all relevant nodal points through the detection of the products being transported.

Realization on PROFINET basis

It is thanks to the system control based on real-time communication with PROFINET that the modernized system concept can be realized. With respect to the variety of route decisions, meaning switches, Hofmann explains: "We drive dynamically, with all vehicles moving simultaneously and even shift the switches during driving. When doing so, we have to ensure that a line never moves into a non-shifted switch. In addition, a switch cannot be shifted as long as a vehicle is located in it. The braking distances also have to be taken into account".

Part of this demanding system control are the bar code readers of the so-called 500 series from Leuze electronic – more precisely, the BCL 548i device version. The "i" stands for integrated fieldbus connectivity, meaning interfaces integrated in the bar code reader. This greatly simplifies the handling of the trend-setting systems since time-consuming connections via gateways are eliminated.

Well prepared and easily installed

The replacement of existing bar code scanners as well as necessary reinstallation of the additional branches will be done gradually in the scope of the overall modernization in the time windows available. "This makes good preparation, and among other things, parallel installation of existing and new scanners necessary", Hofmann reports.

Finally, the configuration of PROFINET scanners in advance using a PLC and GSD file, the intelligent fastening concept as well as simple connection technology with ready-made cables facilitate commissioning on-site. Using the 2-port switch integrated in the BCL 548i, line structures can be implemented easily. Due to generally limited space in the existing system, the new BCL 548i are also used as deflection mirror models.

Advantages of code reconstruction technology

The BCL 500i series devices are characterized by diverse optics models, a high scanning rate as well as a large depth of field and opening angle. In addition to the high-performance optics, innovative code reconstruction technology (CRT) from Leuze electronic also contributes to the extraordinary reading performance.

While other read systems have to detect bar codes completely with a continuous scan line, the code reconstruction technology makes it possible to read scanned codes multiple times in individual fragments and then merge the overlapping elements into an overall result. The advantages of these reading methods are obvious, in particular when dealing with poorly recognizable, damaged or contaminated labels.

Ready on time to due easy configuration

Now it's Sunday evening, just before 10 p.m. The planned work has been completed, the newly-installed system parts have been tested - everything is in working order. However, it turns out that, depending on the load state on the TLs, several labels with bar codes could reach the very wide read field of the BCL 548i devices at the same time. Since this could lead to misinterpretation, Hofmann grabs a USB cable to connect his laptop to the respective bar code readers via its USB service interface. With the Leuze electronic webConfig tool integrated in the bar code reader, a browser-based graphic user interface, independent from the operating system, is available to him. It enables him to perform the additional configuration of the scanners, otherwise completely set-up via a PLC and GSD file, very quickly. "A special program does not have to be loaded, nor do files belonging to the device have to be searched", Hofmann reports with enthusiasm. The representation of the parameters makes it easier for him to limit the reading field width quickly and easily with a graphic slider, for example. The visible reading beam on the label viewed immediately shows him the optimal setting.

New shift with increased efficiency

In the meantime, the employees working the first shift have arrived in the delivery center. They can ship out industrial automation products again – now with increased efficiency, without interference or interuption.

Toegepaste producten

  • Branche/vakgebied

    Conveyor and storage systems (continuous conveyor)

  • Taakomschrijving

    Control engineering, Bar code

  • Applicatie

    Bar code readers with Profinet in Siemens logistics center