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Networked Laser Scanners from Sick Protect Automatic Guided Vehicles

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Tour Stop No. 40 of the Sensor Solutions tour describes how a safety controller and three laser scanners from Sick were combined to create an integration-friendly protection solution for automated guided vehicles (AGVs).  

Elettric 80 is an Italian company that supplies system solutions for packing technology and intralogistics globally.  

Elettric 80 was searching for a new vehicle protection system for their LGV (Laser Guided Vehicle) segment comprising of fully automatic, 3-wheeled forklift trucks.    

Key requirements included 360º protection for the forklift trucks and correct sensor technology for the intended function. The solution also needed to factor in economic efficiency in procurement, integration and operation.  

Additional specifications included an option for central configuration and diagnostics, quick replacement of components in case of failure without the need to reprogram, reduced wiring times and minimum space requirements in the control cabinet.  

The vehicle protection system was required to be based on a standardised, modular safety concept that could be flexibly adapted for all LGV variants.  

Sick was able to complete this automation and technical safety challenge successfully.  

Sick’s safety controllers and laser scanners  

Sick’s solution consisted of two safety laser scanners (S300) to monitor the rear and side vehicle areas, an additional safety laser scanner (S3000) to protect the vehicle routes and the area below the load carrier as well as a safety controller (Flexi Soft).  

All the components feature Sick-specific interfaces, which enable the devices to communicate with each other directly and safely.  

While a scanner safely monitors the vehicle's path in the direction of travel and in the docking areas, the other two laser scanners monitor the rear and side areas. The scanners are connected to the flexible Flexi Soft safety controller, which communicates with the sensors via the CANbus-based EFI (Enhanced Functional Interface).  

Key benefits for Elettric 80 

  • Protection for automatic guided vehicles, meeting compliance standards
  • Networked, integration-friendly and scalable safety solution
  • Modular system that can be flexibly adapted to other AGVs
  • Sensors, control technology and service from a single source (Sick) guarantees risk-free integration
  • Additional safety sensors can be connected even after initial installation

"Sick was the only supplier capable of solving the task on its own, drawing on the entire product portfolio," says Franco Manzini from Elettric 80. "This allowed us to obtain the sensor and control components from a single source, thus minimising any interfacing risks."

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