Always a good pick

Always a good pick

Optimised workflows with the pick-to-light solution in automotive assembly

Weidmüller Logo

PSA Peugeot Citroën has simplified the provision of parts on its assembly lines. The pick-to-light system from Weidmüller makes a significant contribution towards the success of the new logistics concept.

Like all global automotive corporations, PSA Peugeot Citroën is faced with the challenge of continually optimising its workflows. Innovative digitalisation and automation in production should compensate the demand fluctuations in the markets while ensuring maximum quality. Against this background, Weidmüller is working together with PSA Peugeot Citroën to develop a digital pick-to-light solution that is connected to the production information system. The aim is to avoid errors when preparing components and to improve ergonomics for the workers.

Simple but efficient

The solution consists of digital pick-to-light devices (DPDs), junction boxes, components for industrial communication and a master unit that communicates with the MES (Manufacturing Execution System) from PSA. The system displays the number of parts that are to be removed per assembly operation and identifies the picker by means of the colour of the LED. The DPDs are mounted above the container in order to ensure maximum visibility.

Also suitable for filling containers

The put-to-light solution works in a similar way. It is installed in the empty container filling area and takes over the task of filling the containers from the assemblers. The control sends a command to the DPD to fill a container. A sensor checks whether the container was filled correctly and automatically sends a signal as a confirmation to the system.

Implemented across its plants

PSA was particularly impressed by the robustness of the solution with its splash-proof housing according to IP54 specifications
PSA was particularly impressed by the robustness of the solution with its splash-proof housing according to IP54 specifications

PSA Peugeot Citroën and its suppliers were supported by Weidmüller’s know-how in machine construction automation and the development of this solution. Furthermore, Weidmüller managed additional services for the PSA Peugeot Citroën teams, such as training, tailored technical support and certifications. Already, 7,000 pick-to-light units are in operation at six PSA Peugeot Citroën plants – at its sites in Mulhouse, Poissy, Rennes and Trémery, Douvrin and Valenciennes. Further projects are under development in France and around the world.

»

Weidmüller offers a unique, robust solution in the market«

Pierre-Yves Rideau, General Manager for Inplant Logistics & Packaging Engineering at the PSA Group

WIN!: Mr Rideau, the pick-to-light project is part of a higher-level strategy. Can you explain this briefly?

Pierre-Yves Rideau: The project is part of our strategy to optimise material provision in our final assembly plant – a process that we call kitting. This enables us to produce more model series on the same production line and respond more quickly and flexibly to fluctuations in the variant mix and to customer orders.

WIN!: What was the aim of the project?

Pierre-Yves Rideau: The aim of the project was to develop a robust, ready-to-use and EMC-hardened plug-and-play solution on the line. It was aimed at meeting the ergonomic requirements for picking at a controlled cost not exceeding a defined price per unit.

WIN!: Who were the most important partners involved in this project and how was the process structured?

Pierre-Yves Rideau: We compiled the functional requirements for the solution and defined a cost target. Weidmüller worked with our technical teams in order to define the suitable architecture as well as the hardware and software.

WIN!: How did the project develop and how was the collaboration between the partners?

Pierre-Yves Rideau: The project proceeded through an innovation process with its own milestones. This process enabled us to integrate the solution into our new line at the final assembly plant in Mulhouse. In order to define the product and ensure the seamless start-up of the solution, there was a strong emphasis on simulation, laboratory tests (EMC) and the performance of practical testing. Weidmüller played a major part in this process.

WIN!: What were the weaknesses of the solutions offered by competitors?

Pierre-Yves Rideau: The competitors did not offer robust industrial solutions that were designed to meet our challenging application conditions. The IT equipment from competitors resulted in equipment failure, EMC problems and the non-robustness of cables resulting in vehicle losses at our plants. In contrast, the robustness requirements are met by manufacturers of automation technology. For this reason, we entrusted Weidmüller with the development of a robust solution.

WIN!: What benefits does the Weidmüller solution offer PSA?

Pierre-Yves Rideau: On the one hand, we benefit from the mechanical robustness of the solution at hardware level, with its resistance to unfavourable environmental conditions. On the other hand, we have a solution that is connected to the PSA IT systems and our vehicle nomenclature system. There is a high level of system acceptance among the workers on the line, thanks to the well-designed visual ergonomics.

WIN!: What do you like in particular about the solution from Weidmüller?

Pierre-Yves Rideau: Above all, the robustness that is reflected in the excellent values for the meantime-to-repair (MTTR) and meantime-between-failure (MTBF).

WIN!: How have the workers in picking and assembly taken to the system?

Pierre-Yves Rideau: Their response has been really positive!

WIN!: Do you have any comments or suggestions for future projects?

Pierre-Yves Rideau: We would like to further develop the system and incorporate additional functionality. A wireless IoT solution is a current topic that we are discussing with Weidmüller. We are very interested in looking at how we can design the kitting zone to be more flexible when the weighting of the model variants shifts considerably.

Your contact for everything related to pick-to-light:

Armando Marcelo
Business Development Manager Machinery Solutions – P2L
Phone: +33 6 85 12 75 44
E-mail: Armando.Marcelo@weidmueller.com
Next article
Data: a science unto itself

Data: a science unto itself

Ensuring success with domain expertise and artificial intelligence