New improved interface units: KBS Industrieelektronik GmbH is now offering the advanced PTF-SUB3 and PTF-MIU interface unit.

While the PTF-SUB3 is a continuation of the PTF-SUB2 performance class with its proven track record, PTF-MIU is ideal for larger pick-by-light systems in particular.

The steadily growing complexity of processes in order picking and materials supply as well as demanding requirements placed on system availability and future proofing calls for a more flexible configuration and quicker adaptation of the relevant picking systems.

KBS Industrieelektronik GmbH has used the PTF-SUB2 unit as an interface between the bus system of the pick-by-light module and the respective control computer in its pick-by-light systems in various versions for many years.

Two new variations of interface units were developed with a view to accommodating the different types of systems even better. KBS now offers the new PTF-SUB3 version as a successor to the tried-and-tested PTF-SUB2 performance class. The PTF-MIU version was developed especially for larger systems.

Both versions are based on a LINUX operating system and therefore offer significant cost-effective advantages regarding security and state-of-the-art process management. Furthermore, this platform will enable the implementation of Device Manager software and application software in the interface unit, which further enhances both flexibility and user friendliness.

PTF-SUB3 interface unit

The new PTF-SUB3 version is equipped with a number of new functions and features designed specifically for use in layouts of picking zones which are often modified, such as in supermarkets in production logistics.


The two core functions, namely the power supply of the connected pick-by-light modules and the PTF-BUS interface function, have been optimised in accordance with industrial standards such as Ethernet, RS 485 and RS 232. The new wide range power supply (85 – 265 VAC, 47 – 63 Hz) with a particularly low no-load power consumption of a few watts enables the unit to be used anywhere in the world and allows the connection of pick-by-light components with an output of up to 150W. A new, second  RJ45 Ethernet port enables the cascading connection of several interface units without additional switches. If an (R)STP-enabled switch is used, this can even be carried out redundantly.

Possibly the most important innovation for users is the fact that both the mains connector and the connections for the PTF-BUS cable are available both as self-locking or lockable connectors. The unit therefore no longer needs to be opened for the purpose of installation, configuration, or if changes to the layout of the pick-by-light system are made.

Jumper and DIP switches for the hardware configuration of the interfaces are protected behind a cover plate. The controller has six general status LEDs and another two LEDs for each Ethernet interface to facilitate on-site diagnosis. All important performance characteristics, such as output and input voltage, temperature or communication status, are monitored on an ongoing basis and, in the event of an emergency, transmitted to the control computer in real time.

PTF-MIU interface unit

The PTF-MIU interface unit was designed especially for larger pick-by-light systems and systems with foreseeable minor changes in the warehouse topology. The modular design guarantees the highest possible level of flexibility in terms of the concept and expandability of your pick-by-light system.


The right power supply is selected depending on the size of the pick-by-light system. The interface between the pick-by-light modules and the control computer are designed in a modular fashion. Along with the basic unit, one or several bus modules are used depending on the pick-by-light module to be controlled. With the maximum possible expansion of the system, several hundred pick-by-light modules can therefore be linked up to only one interface unit, which significantly reduces the effort involved in installation as well as simplifying the configuration.