Communication between the floor operation and the management system in the warehouse is crucial and downtime prevention is critical. Cabling systems have to factor in physical cable limitations such as bends or cable trays that could eventually lead to damaged wiring.

Stacker Cranes for Warehouse Management Systems
Stacker Cranes for Warehouse Management Systems

Case Study from | Pepperl+Fuchs

The Application

Stacker cranes require high-speed, reliable data transmission that links the activity of the retrieval system on the warehouse floor to the warehouse management system (WMS). The LS68x series wireless data couplers achieve this without the need for device-to-device cabling. Rather, the stacker crane is quickly approaching or exiting a high-bay warehouse aisle while the data is consistently transferred to the management hub. With very quick and simple alignment, and plug-and-play setup, the pair of data couplers are a short step into the automated warehouse system.

 

The Goal

Communication between the floor operation and the management system in the warehouse is crucial and downtime prevention is critical. Traditional cabling systems have to factor in physical cable limitations such as bends or cable trays that could eventually lead to damaged wiring. In addition to this, they are susceptible to elements like electromagnetic interference or noise. With data couplers, this interference and the installation of cable trays or complex modular cable carriers is eliminated as they serve as a wireless alternative. The LS68x series wireless data couplers provide a low-maintenance and cable-free means of communication in the warehouse.

 

The Solution

When the stacker crane enters or exits an aisle, the location, speed, and throughput of the system must be monitored and maintained reliably. Traditionally, this can be accomplished via complex wiring techniques that lead back to the WMS. Typically, the concern with this type of wiring is the installation, time constraints, lifespan, and cable management. All of this is eliminated with wireless data transmission. After alignment between the two devices, the data is transmitted end to end. Since data is never stored, it is immediately sent to the nominated management system.

Wireless communication allows for less complex wiring from device to device and improved communication to the warehouse management system. The skepticism about reliability and consistently fast speeds are no longer a concern. The LS68x Series Data Couplers allow for consistent 100MBit/s data transmission and therefore avoiding costly downtime.

The LS68x Series can transfer data up to 300m, and there is no dead band since communication starts at 0. Additionally, the most common industrial communication protocols are supported: EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, EtherCAT, and Serial.

 

The Benefits

Since the LS8x is an optical device, there are no moving or mechanical parts to wear out. It guarantees a consistent turnaround time for synchronous, jitter-free switching operations and control processes at both ends of the transmission range – over any distance and with any driving dynamics.

The Pepperl+Fuchs optical data coupler always monitors the connection across all segments of the data transfer path. If faults occur, the fieldbus' redundancy mechanisms can localize and immediately bridge them.

 

Technical Features

  • Data transmission over a distance of up to 300 m.

  • When mounting the optical data coupler, no minimum distance has to be considered.

  • Regardless of other communication networks, the LS682 and LS684 optical data couplers ensure a constant data rate of 100 MBit/s. This stable connection prevents costly downtime.
  • Low-temperature model available for ‘cold storage’ warehouses.

 

 

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of ManufacturingTomorrow

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