Miniature photoelectric sensors from SICK were installed for reliable container detection in an electronic tray management system at an automation company in Germany.
AM-Automation GmbH in Offenau, Germany specialises in project planning, electrical, software and mechanical engineering as well as production and service for automated high-bay and small part stock technology.
The company has developed an automated small part stock incorporating a transponder-controlled tray management system that enables efficient use of space both in the warehouse and on the tray itself. The controller requires information from photoelectric sensors to identify how many containers are positioned on a tray.
Key requirements of AM-Automation GmbH included:
- Sensors must be compact with increased ranges
- Sensors must guarantee a high degree of detection reliability in difficult optical conditions at near range
SICK’s high performance and economic sensor solutions met these requirements effectively.
SICK’s miniature photoelectric sensors
SICK supplied space-saving and reliable miniature photoelectric sensors to record containers moving in and out of storage.
SICK’s miniature photoelectric sensors include a sensor with specific optical properties (WL100 Bright Light) to meet the customer’s requirement for high detection reliability in reflective, light diffusing and depolarising surfaces.
Their small size and suitable fixtures allowed these sensor devices to be integrated into the automated small part stock's storage rises, perfectly aligned and minimising on space.
When a tray moves into one of the sections, the photoelectric sensors successively identify the containers on the tray. The critical effect of plastic surfaces that depolarise the sensor light and can otherwise disrupt the sensor in close range detection is suppressed by the WL100 Bright Light optical properties of SICK’s sensor technology.
When the containers are detected, the tray's transponders and the transponders of the containers on the tray are identified electronically and used together with the signals from the miniature photoelectric sensors for the RFID-assisted tray management. The reliability of the photoelectric sensor signals guarantees a high degree of process reliability and availability when operating the automated small part stock.
Key benefits of SICK’s miniature photoelectric sensors
- Space-saving, miniature size enabled simple and fast integration
- Special optical properties ensure a high degree of detection in optically difficult conditions
- Reliable recording guarantees high availability and process reliability in the tray automated small part stock
Johannes Traub, project manager at AM-Automation GmbH says that SICK's photoelectric sensor solution was chosen for various reasons.
The range and precision, coupled with the space-saving size convinced AM-Automation to integrate the miniature photoelectric sensors in their automated small part stock. The compact size and fixtures allowed easy installation saving time and money.
Since the sensors met the commercially available standards, AM-Automation did not have to make any design changes. The superior detection capability of the photoelectric sensors during operation even in difficult optical conditions gave the automated small part stock a high level of availability and process reliability.
The application-oriented consulting service prior to the installation and the speedy delivery were key factors in the selection of miniature photoelectric sensors from SICK.