PICK-BY-INK – A PICKING SYSTEM JUST WITH CONTAINERS AND FLEXIBLE DISPLAYS
As an alternative for pick by light systems, the Fraunhofer IML in Dortmund has developed the PICK-BY-INK system using the segmented ePaper display.
With its focus on energy emphasizing on using ultra-low power electronics, heterogeneous wireless communication and energy harvesting, PICK-BY-INK is a resource-optimized System. The PICK-BY-INK is a minimalistic variation envisioned exclusively for enabling KANBAN with low cost overhead and for make-shift picking systems where peaks in demand in the warehouse can be regulated with almost no overhead for setting up the system in comparison to setting up traditional pick by light systems.
KANBAN right at the epicentre
PICK-BY-INK is a self-contained module with wireless communication interface, segmented ePaper display, rechargeable battery and buttons for user input. It connects the picker in the warehouse directly to the warehouse management system (WMS) giving real-time insights on inventory and the events in the shop floor. Each module is flexible and can be inserted into a standard warehouse container for small components. The displays are flexible and robust to be used in industrial conditions with a standby up to six months per charge. They have a high quotient of contrast between the segments, which is easy to read in normal industrial lighting conditions and can also act as a stimulus for the picker by animating the background segments of the displays at high frequency creating attention. There are four buttons beneath the display embedded into the perspective of segments to create a clutter free user experience.
Ready for Industry 4.0
The devices communicate using the 868 MHz in a star network topology to central access-point. The WMS connects to the displays over an access-point using the standard web API interfaces. The displays receive events to be displayed on the flexible displays for the picker animating the 28 segments in the display. Each module is addressable and can be paired with the product or a container and can be interfaced with legacy systems using the standard web APIs to the access-point and it translates the communication from the WMS to the displays.