Recently, if an industrial carousel manufacturer discontinued supporting its controls package, the equipment dependant on it was doomed as instantly obsolete. Manufacturers controls systems are inherently proprietary.
For years, thousands of warehouse and distribution centers around the world have utilized these vertical and horizontal carousel systems to store and retrieve the products they manufacture and distribute.
The status quo required buyers of these systems, to be inherently dependent on the manufacturers to supply all of the support, repair, installation, updates and/or parts necessary to keep these systems operational for the owners. Due to the proprietary control systems that operate these systems, there was no other alternative in the event a buyer wanted to outsource these functions to someone other than the original manufacturer.
With thousands of systems now deemed unsupported, old and/or outdated by the manufacturer, many see a sizable market alternative to the status quo. A sizable, ever growing market for an alternative controls solution which could operate any make or model of older vertical or horizontal carousel regardless of age, make, model does exist.
While industry insiders agree the need and market are real, developing it is not. “Its like trying to find the holy grail”, said one insider. Like the grail, many have tried but all have failed.
Or have they? Some think not.
Recently news has hit the material handling industry about a controls system appropriately named “Chameleon” (because it adapts to everything) rumored to do what many thought impossible. The creators of Chameleon claim the controller can be adapted to any industrial ASRS carousel. Any carousel as in any make, any model, old or new, doesn’t matter what carousel they claim. Even ASRS carousel systems declared obsolete or no longer supported by the manufacturer? “Especially carousels deemed obsolete by the manufacturer,” said Stafford Sterner, a company spokesman.
The key benefit Chameleon offers is bringing new life into equipment thought to be obsolete and worthless. In addition, the elimination of the need to purchase unwanted upgrades in order to maintain warranty and support on an existing system is a big plus as well. Chameleon Carousel Controls provide an economical option for systems that till now, where anything but.
Users can use the touch screen to select a bin location and automatically bring the part to the operations area. The carousel can also be run in Manual or Jog mode, and the system includes full diagnostics and error messages. Encoder type carousels can be “Homed” automatically, or proximity carousels can be positioned at any location.
“The key benefit Chameleon offers,” says Sterner “is the elimination of the need to purchase unwanted upgrades in order to maintain warranty and support on an existing system. Chameleon Carousel Controls provide an economical option.” For users requiring more sophisticated search and retrieval tools, The company is currently testing a PC-based software control option for Chameleon due for release this summer.
Read more about Chameleon Carousel Controls and related software at http://www.sjf.com/controls/carousel_controls.html