March 4, 2023
While online trading is much talked about as a driver of growth in the intralogistics sector, a fast pace continues to be in demand in production logistics as well. Consequently, the industry is undergoing economical and technological change with an optimization and streamlining of its processes. The demand for automation is rising with an increasing focus on safe human-machine interaction. To solve these complex challenges, manufacturers and operators of AGV (Automated Guided Vehicles) systems require intelligent, compatible and future-proof safety solutions.
SICK has been proactively addressing the trends in the logistics industry for some time now and is responding to the increasingly intelligent automated guided vehicle systems by developing high performance safety technology. The microScan3 safety laser scanner is the result of this intensive exchange with the industry. The microScan3 product family offers variants for every requirement – large scanning ranges, smart integration into all industrial networks, and a multitude of intelligent functions.
Leading manufacturers of AGV systems are taking advantage not only of the ease of use of the device, but also its compact design despite large scanning range, and the large and variable number of safety fields. This enables them to construct fast, dynamically operating AGVs which, for example, can ensure a high level of safety even at high speeds and while cornering.
High Availability and Precise Measurement Data
All variants in the microScan3 product family offer the reliable safeHDDM® scanning technology that enables highly precise measurement data to be created. These data are produced on the basis of an optical time-of-flight measurement method with up to 88,000 multipulses per rotation, as well as with the help of intelligent filter algorithms. Even when exposed to sources of interference such as weld sparks, ambient light or dust, the microScan3 maintains its availability and allows a continuously high level of productivity with no limitations in its safety function.
The microScan3 also fulfills less obvious requirements, for example has a high electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).This is a requirement that is becoming ever more important given the rising complexity of the AGV systems and the increasing number of electrical components used. Overall, the microScan3 meets all requirements on reliability and ruggedness which ensures trouble-free use around the clock. At the same time it delivers highly precise measurement data that can be used, for example, to support the navigation of the AGV system.
The microScan3 is remarkably uncomplicated to integrate into your application: quick to mount, easy to wire, and secure to integrate into industrial networks.
Integration into Industrial Networks
Besides the universal I/O integration of the microScan3, the safety laser scanners can also be integrated directly into common industrial networks, for example into PROFINET PROFIsafe, EtherNet/IP™ CIP Safety™ or EtherCAT® FSoE. SICK thereby offers a comprehensive portfolio from which manufacturers of AGV systems can select a suitable device for their specific network. Thanks to this integration, measurement and diagnostics data can be accessed easily and processed further in an intelligent manner.
Protective Field Range of Nine Meters for More Speed
The speed of the transport system is a vitally important factor for the productivity of the logistics process chain. In general, the higher the speeds of the AGV systems the higher the potential throughput in the process. The large protective field range of the microScan3 enables exactly these high vehicle speeds: The AGV can see up to nine meters ahead of itself and safely come to a standstill if a hazard exists. The scanning angle of 275° provides 360 degrees all round protection when scanners are mounted on two diagonal corners of a vehicle. No additional sensors are required, which eliminates the associated installation and integration costs.
Perfectly Adapted to Each Driving Mode
All variants of the microScan3 feature a series of functions that provide more flexibility to the AGV manufacturer when changing driving modes. Up to eight simultaneous and 128 freely configurable protective fields enable the vehicle to adaptively adjust to the driving situation, the load conditions, and its environment more generally. If an AGV reduces its speed from three to two meters per second, for example, then the previously used protective field is actually too large. If a person far away steps into the path of the AGV, then it would stop even though no hazardous situation exists. The microScan3 makes it possible to optimally adapt the vehicle to the work environment and thereby increase the productivity of the processes.
Easy to Use: “Safety Designer” Configuration Software
SICK places great importance on the user-friendliness of its configuration software. All variants of the microScan3 can be easily and conveniently configured using the “Safety Designer” configuration software. This software can not only be used to configure the safety laser scanner itself but also, for example, the Flexi Soft safety controller. It is also possible to parameterize encoders. SICK’s own “Safe EFI-pro” system, a convenient all-in-one solution for protecting AGVs which together with the Flexi Soft safety controller provides additional Safe Motion functions, can also be configured in this manner. Users appreciate all of these combined benefits: A software for multiple sensor and controller solutions that functions intuitively for all components in a safety system.
Combine Productivity and Safety with the Sensor Solutions from SICK
The industry-tailored microScan3 product family with its many individual functions is based on a precise knowledge of the specific applications as well as the anticipated ever-growing demands and complexity in the logistics sector. With its broad solution portfolio, SICK offers manufacturers of AGV systems, system integrators, and plant operators numerous possibilities for combining productivity and safety in an efficient manner. That is why SICK, with a view to the future, is leading the way in making logistics processes even more effective and sustainable, in particular in the booming e-commence sector.