In today’s high-performance manufacturing landscape, clear communication between humans and the machines they operate is crucial. Efficiency and precision are the names of the game, and delays or misunderstandings often impact overall efficiency and product quality. Fortunately, advancements in light pipe technology are illuminating the path for a new wave of user-friendly interfaces.

Factory floor machinery has become increasingly nuanced, and operators need intuitive interfaces with clear visual feedback. Where traditional control panel illumination solutions fall short in the communication department, a new product is emerging to vastly improve the machine-to-operator link.

The Challenge: Information Bottlenecks in Industrial Machinery

Traditional illumination systems in industrial machinery — even those that use modern LEDs — can struggle to adequately communicate complex information to operators. This is often due to the size of a single light source or the available space on a control panel for indicator lights. In a busy factory setting, many types of control panel lights suffer from light bleed, which makes the indicators harder to visualize. And, with limited light source real estate on the panel, it’s not possible to communicate messages beyond whether the machine’s power is on or off.

These traditional options are hamstrung in their ability to display information that could be used to convey more details or context. For example, a blinking red light might indicate a general error status, but it doesn’t tell the operator what type of error is occurring or where that malfunction is taking place. This can not only confuse the operator, but can also lead to long periods of downtime for an entire area of the production floor. Without enough clear visual information, operators can be left with a cumbersome troubleshooting task ahead of them.

The Modular Light Pipe System: Enhancing Manufacturing Communication

Bivar’s Modular Light Pipe System (MLPS) offers advanced illumination properties for industrial machinery control panels. MLPS provides more light clarity and precision, which leads to a lower chance of misinterpreting signals. With defined light paths, MLPS directs the light exactly where it’s needed with no bleed-over between indicators.

When it comes to customization, MLPS offers far more options than its predecessors. With a wider range of colors and patterns at its disposal, MLPS enables design engineers to create more intricate light displays that can communicate a broader range of information. Additionally, MLPS can be configured to illuminate specific symbols or text alongside the lights if the control panel layout allows for it.

A Focus on the MLPS-RTB for Communication Precision

With rail, tower and precision alignment bezel, Bivar’s MLPS-RTB offers the best features for device communication. By securing each diode in place, the bezel system helps create a well organized and defined display. Creating clear boundaries between each light source can help prevent visual confusion. Operators can be confident that the messages being sent by their machines are coming from focused, crisp, clear and precise indicators. This means operators get a much more clear-cut picture of what’s going on with the machine. The light shines exactly where it needs to, without any confusing spillover between indicators.

Both the MLPS-RT and MLPS-RTB provide communication flexibility due to their multiple possible matrix configurations. If a machine needs to communicate more intricate information than binary indicator lights, the MLPS can display distinctive codes to distinguish the nature of the alert.

Streamlining Manufacturing with MLPS

While traditional control panel illumination options can create communication barriers, MLPS only adds to increased efficiency on the manufacturing floor. Clear visual cues aid in improving operational efficiency, with operators being able to respond faster and make better decisions. Operators can better anticipate potential issues, adjust settings proactively and, ultimately, minimize errors and decrease the amount of machinery downtime. Integrating MLPS into existing machinery will help facilitate a smoother production flow and encourage increased output.
Illuminate Your Manufacturing Processes with Bivar

MLPS goes beyond basic illumination. It provides a powerful communication tool that helps machine operators work more efficiently, troubleshoot faster and maximize their production levels. Its modular design means installing MLPS into existing machines is simple, without the need for extensive rewiring. The ability to bridge the gap between factory machine and human operator communication is at your finger tips. Contact Bivar to discuss the right illumination solution for your unique applications.