Data Acquisition & Telemetry

Wireless notification system for forklift ­drivers

December 2014 Data Acquisition & Telemetry

A furniture manufacturer has four manufacturing lines: red, green, blue, and yellow. When a line is in need of parts, one of the operators flips a switch that turns on that line’s colour on a light tower located centrally in the warehouse. One of the two forklift operators notices the signal and retrieves parts for that line.

The challenge

The manufacturer required a solution that would:

• Increase the forklift operator’s response time by putting the call for parts indicator on the forklift’s dashboard.

• Allow the forklift operator to acknowledge the request and eliminates redundant part deliveries by both operators.

This is a large facility and the forklift trucks are mobile, making a wired solution impossible. In addition, the manufacturer required a solution that is easy to install and maintain.

The Banner solution

The notification system for each line consists of a K50 illuminated touch button, a K30 illuminated touch button, a colour position on a signal tower light, one PM8 gateway, and two PM8L Nodes.

The operator requests parts by touching the K50. This turns on the K50, the K30 in the fork lift cab, and the signal tower light line’s colour. The fork lift operator acknowledges the request by touching the K30 mounted in the fork lift, turning off all the lights.

The operators see their request has been received. The K30, K50, and tower light are all tied together by Banner’s SureCross PM series radios; there is no need for an external logic device. The logic, latch input with a reset line, is built into the K50 light.

The notification system includes:

• K50 illuminated touch button: provides indication, feedback and logic for when the operator initiates a call for parts.

• K30 illuminated touch button: gives indication and feedback for the forklift operator.

• Signal tower light: indicates to the warehouse which manufacturing line requires parts.

The PM8 Performance Radio Network consists of 2 devices:

• PM8L node: provides two way discrete condition communications between the illuminated touch buttons, signal light tower and the radio network.

• PM8 gateway: orchestrates discrete condition exchanges between all PM8L nodes.

For more information contact Rodney Topham, RET Automation Controls, +27 (0)11 453 2468,,


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