FKI Logistex Launches New Wireless Information Module

FKI Logistex Automation Division, a market-leader in the design, manufacture, installation and integration of innovative material handling solutions, unveiled its real-time Wireless Information Module (WIM). The FKI Logistex WIM is a state-of-the-art wireless application providing instantaneous data reporting to handheld Pocket PCs (formerly Microsoft Windows CE) by communicating directly with the main system controller via an OPC interface to a Microsoft Visual Studio.NET WebService.

Using wireless Ethernet technology, the WIM captures system statistics in real time and transmits them to the target Pocket PC anywhere within the facility, offering operators a snapshot of current system performance. The handheld unit's simple Windows-format graphical user interface allows for swift interpretation of statistics and maintenance alerts, including diverts, "no-reads," alarms, aborts and exception notifications. Users can scroll quickly and easily through each page by tapping the Pocket PC touch screen.

The WIM architecture is constructed around Microsoft Visual Studio.NET and Microsoft WebService. The module's Open Process Control (OPC) support enables it to integrate with any existing OPC-compliant applications, including FKI Logistex BOSS and the BOSS Sorter Control Module. In addition, it integrates easily with PLCs. The module uses WiFi 802.11b for radio frequency communications (the frequency most commonly installed in warehouses for wireless barcode scanning operations), allowing the WIM to interface seamlessly with existing wireless systems.

The WIM is an effective tool for busy DC managers who can benefit from remote access to critical data previously only available on fixed screens at monitoring stations scattered throughout the facility. By monitoring and reporting data such as individual conveyor lane information and sorter status, as well as current and historical carton cycle rates down to individual I/O points, the module offers a granular level of control and provides early warning of anomalies throughout the system.

The WIM also allows maintenance personnel to closely monitor their system via system alarms, exception notices and I/O debugging reports. Armed with precise data, maintenance personnel can quickly and accurately pinpoint the physical location of system errors, maximizing uptime and minimizing maintenance-related productivity losses.

The FKI Logistex WIM will be available for viewing and in-person demonstrations during ProMat 2003, February 10-13, 2003, at Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center. Stop by Hall B, booth 1407, for a product demonstration.

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