Stack Lights are an essential part of machines used for industrial manufacturing and mass production. The primary function of stack lights is to visually communicate the status of a machine to personnel on the operating floor. They can be controlled externally by PLCs, PC Systems, or sensors and timers on the machine. Some can support networks such as HTTP, SMTP, RSH, SNMP, and DHCP.
Lights can display as flashing or continuous.
The common stack light colors and their meanings are as follows:
Red: Failure, emergency stop, intervention required
Yellow: Operating over-temperature, or over-pressure
Green: Operating as normal
Some stack lights will have additional colors that can be programmable by the user, depending on the machine’s purpose and functions.
Blue: Assistance needed, in repair or replacement mode
White, Violet, Pink: User-defined, often relating to quality control or productivity
Some stack lights also have audible features, such as buzzers and alarms. This adds another dimension to their primary function of communicating machines’ status. Stack lights that can support network connections can also out email notifications, such as those from Patlite’s NHL and NHP Series.
How to Select the Right Stack Light
It is important to consider several factors when choosing the correct stack light. One major factor is visibility, as the light must easily be seen by all personnel, even from a far distance. Larger lights are recommended for larger machines.
Ease of communication is also a factor. While there is no industry standard for what meanings the colors correspond to, red is often associated with warnings or errors. Having additional colors on a stack light may be helpful in communicating a range of statuses, but there could be a learning curve in remembering what each color stands for.
There is also the decision of whether to have auditory alerts. Auditory alerts must be loud or distinctive enough to be heard, but not distracting to the point where personnel can get startled while carrying out operations.
Finally, there is the question of durability, especially in hazardous environments. Selecting an explosion-proof stack light, such as the Patlite ELDR can be an effective choice in ensuring safety.
MISUMI carries a selection of stack light with unique features. To explore our items here.