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SICK’s automation light grids check for load projections on pallets

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article image SICK’s VLC100 automation light grid
SICK  presents an upgraded version of the MLG automation light grids to determine very precisely the projection of loads on pallets.
The new VLC100 image-based automation light grid offers itself as an alternative light grid solution for trouble-free handling of pallets in a compact and easy-to-integrate unit that can also work in retrofits.
Deviation may occur in everyday pallet handling operations due to vibrations along the conveyor paths and in the course of transport or because of insufficient fastening, which may cause the loaded goods to project beyond the pallet. Locating the projection and maintaining the permissible tolerance are key factors for safe handling of the pallets.
SICK’s portfolio offers two approaches to a solution that can handle different requirements and environmental conditions.
Detecting and localising by means of a light grid
The sensor in the MLG automation light grid with new software for pallet verification begins by detecting the base of the pallet at the level of the conveyor system. If the light beam is interrupted in the area above the pallet board prior to the pallet base being detected, a projection exists at the front of the pallet.
At constant conveying speed, the interval from detecting the projection until detecting the base equals the extent of the projection. Using information provided by the light grid about the interrupted light beams, one can also derive an indication about the position of the projecting load. Projections at the rear can also be similarly detected accurately.

Checking pallets from the corner
The VLC100 image-based automation light grid with a range of 2.8m diagonally and a resolution of 18mm can also be used to check the pallets. The transmitter and receiver are integrated in a single housing with the compact, triangular construction allowing installation in or at the corner of a sectional frame as well as behind machine panelling.
A reflective tape is attached to the sides opposite the mounting location. The image based sensor covers the entire reflector surface, detecting changes within the 2D field generated.
The VLC100 is very well suited as a retrofit solution for SICK’s tried and tested OptoTrap/OTD contour sensor, since one can continue to use the latter’s reflector frame and there is complete connecting compatibility with all common automation systems.

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