The rear axles of the Mercedes C-Class are assembled on a demand-oriented basis at the Daimler plant at Mettingen, in the North East of Germany. This production area relies on reading barcodes for process control within its robotic assembly area and therefore Daimler uses Leuze electronic’s BLC 34 barcode readers. In fact Daimler have been doing so with absolute process reliability across three production shifts for more than three years.
41 robots and 23 employees assemble a wide variety of rear axles according to a barcode label affixed to the axle’s carrier, which is read at each production station by the barcode reader. The label defines the product type and enables the necessary work to be performed according to the order data. The barcode label plays a key role in the control of the automated assembly of the rear axles and the process reliability of the barcode reader is a prime driver in the efficiency of the system.
The BCL 34 barcode scanners which were installed in 2006, were chosen because of their high reading performance, robust design and the ability control them via PROFIBUS. Whilst other manufacturers offer barcode readers which contain a communications unit which translate to PROFIBUS, only Leuze offer full PROFIBUS integration. Full integration enables control of configuration from the PLC and therefore, plug and play replacement. Additional physical benefits are the unit’s metal housing with dovetail grooves which offer optimum mounting, along with small device dimensions.
The BCL 34 range is a very active part of Leuze electronic’s product family and its large variety of optics give it the flexibly of application and siting. Whilst the BCL 34 was the World’s first barcode reader to offer a PROFIBUS connection with M12 plug, it now has sisters offering this within Leuze electronic’s range as well as most recently PROFINET.
The PROFIBUS connection provides machine control and extremely fast data communication of up to 12Mbit/s which utilises the extraordinarily high reading capacity of the scanner. Thus, the BCL 34 offers extremely high reading speed with delay-free data communication.
Furthermore, the PROFIBUS connection makes the devices easy to integrate. They are configured just once during project planning, when the programmer works with the software tool of the PROFIBUS DP master. Up to 120 parameters are organized in 40 modules, which enables the optimum use of memory without exceeding the maximum PROFIBUS data length. Only the modules necessary for the given system specification are included in the project. The DP telegram then automatically transmits these settings to the barcode readers on each system start.
The automotive industry is a challenging marketplace in which Leuze electronic has a long and successful history. In this application Mercedes have assembled an axle every 60 seconds across a three-shift operation, for over three years – in fact over 500,000 axles, during which time the BCL 34 barcode readers have worked faultlessly.
Leuze electronic ‘the sensor people’ are committed to being the supplier of choice by providing industry leading customer service and products. The extensive product range and a global presence enables Leuze electronic to serve manufacturers, integrators and end users across many applications and industries.