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What is a typical Return on Investment (ROI) when Light Guide Systems™ is deployed?
- By placing the right information, at the right place, and the right time Light Guide Systems™ can drive bottom line results through improved metrics related to higher quality, productivity, throughput, and training efficiency. Each customer’s “pain points” are different, but the mistake-proofing capability of Light Guide can improve quality and productivity by over 50% and, when scaled to include error-proofing hardware, quality errors can be nearly eliminated. Payback is typically in weeks or months, rather than years.
What type of work instructions can be projected onto the product and workstation?
- Light Guide Systems™ has the unique ability to project any combination of Visual Display Features (VDF’s) including text, images, animations, videos, quality alerts, blueprints, shadow-boards, cycle time countdown; and audio tones or instructions can be overlaid as well. Any form of work instruction can be designated as a “Help” feature, and can be universally turned on or off for new product launch or new operator training.
What types of processes can Light Guide Systems™ make mistake-proof?
- Nearly any manual work related to assembly, disassembly, inspection, part kitting, sequencing, maintenance, tool changeovers, gauging, welding, wire harness routing, glue bead placement, and shipping/receiving. Light Guide Systems™ is also used for self-paced training of new employees on best practices related to their work, allowing experienced team members to perform value-added work and eliminating training variation from multiple trainers.
What is the size of the product and/or workstation that Light Guide System™ can cover?
- The projected image size (“Operating Canvas”) can be scaled as small as microscope-guided circuit board assembly, up to building a complete tractor or picking/sequencing parts within a warehouse or supermarket area with a 20’x15’ canvas size from a single projector. Multiple Light Guide Systems™ projectors can be interfaced to the PC platform in order to cover very large areas or provide line of sight guidance and task lighting into shadowed areas.
Can Light Guide Systems™ operate as a standalone system? If required, can Light Guide Systems™ be interfaced into a factory Manufacturing Execution System (MES)?
Light Guide Systems™ is completely scalable, and can operate stand-alone or fully integrated with the plant floor MES. When operating in a standalone mode, program selection and step confirmation can originate from the Light Guide Systems™ Human Machine Interface (HMI) touchscreen, USB bar code reader input, or USB foot-pedals for hands free operation on the workstation. Light Guide Systems™ can also interface with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s) or even in direct communication with the plant floor MES, with the MES determining program selection at station and expanding the step confirmation options to include devices such as machine vision devices, torque guns, light curtains, virtual confirmation buttons, wireless pushbuttons for team member mobility, and photo-optic sensors.
What are the options for confirming that each step of a process was performed properly?
- There are three means of confirming and/or stepping forward in a Light Guide program. The first is “manual confirmation”. In a standalone mode, manual confirmation options include a USB foot-pedal, USB pushbutton, or the HMI touchscreen. The second is “auto confirmation”. Auto confirmation options include machine vision cameras, torque guns, light curtains, virtual confirmation buttons, wireless pushbuttons for team member mobility, and photo-optic sensors. The third option is “auto advance”. This option steps through the Light Guide program based on pre-determined timing for each step, and each step can have its own unique time.
Can multiple projectors be used for large areas or parts with intricate surfaces?
- Yes. At this time, up to six projectors can be operated from one Light Guide Systems™ PC, expanding the operating canvas to an area as large as 180 square feet.
What type of operational data is collected from Light Guide Systems™?
Data collection provided by Light Guide Systems™ can include actual cycle times for each step of a manual process, cycle times by team member to monitor training requirements, a date/time stamp for each process step, bar codes for each part run and the associated cycle times, and bar codes processed by each team member during their shift. Other unique identifiers can be appending to the cycle time data including operator ID, part serial number, and station number for full traceability.
Can Light Guide Systems™ operate in a “high mix” environment?
- The Light Guide Systems™ software application is inherently dynamic, and can create the proper set of visual work instructions based upon the model / mix variation at station. The program generation is easily initiated manually by the team member or from a bar code scan; or, through integration via PLC or MES, Light Guide Systems™ can dynamically create the work instruction program “on the fly” depending on process requirements.
Is Light Guide Systems™ programmable by the customer?
- Yes, the Light Guide Systems™ application software is a user-friendly, GUI environment. If you can use the Windows Office suite of software, you can program in Light Guide Systems™. OPS Solutions includes an on-site training class as a part of every system sale, which allows customers to fully program and interface Light Guide Systems™ into their processes.
What type of maintenance is required for Light Guide Systems™
- Light Guide Systems™ can be configured with a high-lumen / standard life “bulb style” projector, or a standard lumen / longer life “lamp-less” LED projector. When the high lumen projector is utilized, the standard bulb life is 2,000 hours. The projector can also be configured in Light Guide to send an email to maintenance personnel when the remaining bulb life is at 100 hours, in order to proactively schedule the bulb change. When the standard lumen LED projectors are utilized, maintenance is typically not required until 20,000 hour of run time is recorded. For each projector type, performance can be monitored in real time from any web-connected device.
Can Light Guide Systems™ control the projector automatically?
- Yes. Light Guide Systems™ can automatically turn the projector on and off based on a pre-defined production schedule in order to extend bulb life. In addition, Light Guide Systems™ can monitor the projector for “idle time”, and optionally turn the projector off during extended idle periods, i.e. for 30 minutes or longer.
Can Light Guide Systems™ operate in tough manufacturing environments with airborne particulates, i.e. welding smoke, coolant mist, etc.?
- Yes. In demanding environments, a custom projector enclosure can be supplied to protect the projector from high temperatures and/or harsh air conditions.
If high tolerance and precision VDFs are required, can a high-resolution projector be used?
- Yes. The standard Light Guide Systems™ projector resolution is typically 1024×768 pixels. For higher resolution applications, a 1920×1200 pixel projector can be supplied. Ultimately, pixel size is a function of projector resolution and “canvas size”, determined by throw distance from the projector to the operating surface.
Can Light Guide Systems™ be moved from one plant location to another?
Yes. The Light Guide Systems™ hardware is easily redeployed. Typically the PC is housed in an enclosure at or near the workstation, and can be easily moved. The project mounts can be relocated from one location to another, typically in just a few hours. Then it is just a matter of creating a new Light Guide program for the new application
Is there a portable version of Light Guide?
- Yes. We have recently introduced Light Guide Systems™ Pro, a pre-configured mobile station with a standard table size of 3 feet by 6 feet and an overhead mounted projector that can be easily moved throughout a facility for training, production bottlenecks, or quality inspection and containment.