Recent developments in LED lighting technology has made it more suitable for a wide range of applications and is now being used to replace traditional lighting on machines, in control cabinets and for control room indicators. Banner has been at the forefront of LED developments and continues to innovate and lead the way forward in photoelectric controls
In 1840, British astronomer and chemist, Warren de la Rue, enclosed a platinum coil in a vacuum tube and passed an electric current through it, thus creating the world’s first light bulb – a full 40 years before Thomas Edison was issued a patent for creating it.
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) first appeared as a practical electronic component in 1962 but had a very low intensity output. By 1970 photoelectric sensor manufacturers were starting to use LEDs as an alternative to the incandescent light bulb, mainly due to its long life and physical robustness, but they still had only about one per cent of the light intensity. Then photoelectric sensor designers discovered that the LED had a benefit far more profound than its long life; unlike their incandescent equivalents LEDs can be turned on and off at high frequency, typically several kilohertz. This modulating of the LED meant that the receiver could be tuned, like a radio, to the frequency of the LED emitter. A small number of engineers pioneered modulation methods and applied these to industrial photoelectric controls. Among those was Robert W Fayfield, the founder and CEO of Banner Engineering Corp.
In 1974 Banner introduced the first self-contained, modulated, visible LED sensor and by 1978 Banner was revolutionising the photoelectric control industry with its Multi-Beam range of sensors.
Lighting and Indicators division
Using its expertise in LED technology and high IP rated enclosures, Banner has developed a pioneering Lighting and Indicators division. This is currently the fastest growing division both in new product innovations and turnover. The Lighting half of this division has two main parts, vision lights and task lights.
Vision lights are a complete range of rugged, maintenance-free LED lighting in red, green, blue, white and infrared. They are high-intensity with built-in universal strobe control and power regulation, eliminating the need for an external controller and power supply. There is also a complete range of polarising filter kits, coloured filters and lighting diffusers to fulfil all the requirements of the machine vision industry.
Task lights provide an industrial alternative to fluorescent and halogen bulbs in enclosure, area and machine lighting, including control cabinets and panels. The extremely bright, energy efficient LEDs use as little as 10 per cent of the energy of conventional lighting to illuminate the same area. They are far more efficient in directing light to the work area and have a continuous working life in excess of 50,000 hours. The rugged housings, including IP69K, make them suitable for use in wet or dirty environments, with a choice of sizes and housing material to fit any area and environment, including food and beverage. The area lights illuminate large spaces with an even pattern of light and no shadows. The 30 and 50mm work lights are perfect for small panels or enclosures where space is at a premium and consuming less than 2W at 10-30VDC, finding power is not a problem. The work light strips are available in lighted lengths from 145mm to 1130mm and in six colours. The low profile, 28mm wide aluminium housing, rated to either IP50 or IP68, can also be connected end to end to minimise wiring.
The second half of the division is dedicated to indicators and actuators. The indicators are direct replacements for panel and tower lights but with all the advantages of LED technology, including maintenance free 100,000 hour continuous working life. A single indicator can display up to five different colours and these can be glowing, flashing, sequenced flashing, strobing or rotating. There are 13 styles available including tower and column lights, segmented displays, daylight visible for outdoor applications and traffic lights. All models are rated to IP67 or IP69K and some are also available with audible alerts.
The actuator group combines sensor and indicator technology, producing a range of products which provide operator guidance and feedback in a single unit. Simply put, the indicator tells the operator which part to select and the sensor detects that the operator has taken the correct part. If an incorrect part is selected the indicator will change from green to red and the control system will be alerted. Typical error proofing applications are automotive and computer assembly where each order has a custom selection of parts.
Single indicators with an integral push button provide a highly visual ‘Call for parts’ solution. The operator receives feedback that they have requested parts and the person bringing parts can easily identify the correct location.
Two key features are common to all Banner indicators and part verification devices. The first is that, unlike traditional beacons and lights, when an indicator is off it will appear grey, making the indication obvious even at a distance and in bright conditions. The second is that they are all designed to fit directly on the machine, they do not require an extra panel or enclosure and Banner have a complete line of brackets including ones designed to fit common racking profiles. This greatly reduces installation time and cost.
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