A new era of safety

A new era of safety

microScan3 – the new generation
of safety laser scanners from SICK

Safety is a basic human need. Reliable protective
devices integrated into work processes are therefore essential these days.
Operators and maintenance personnel must be able to rely on the safety of a
machine. It is often said, that more
safety results in lower productivity – but the opposite is,
in fact, the case. Safety can certainly be
reconciled with high rates of productivity, and more than that, it can
even have a positive influence on them. It should also not be forgotten that high levels of safety result
in increased motivation and satisfaction and, as a result, also contribute to
the success of the company.

Safety first efficient
solutions for industrial protection

The requirements on the safeguarding of machinery have
changed more and more with the increasing use of automation. In the past,
protective devices in the work process were something of a nuisance; for this
reason, they were often not used at all. Innovative technology has enabled
protective devices to be integrated into
the work process. As a result, they are no longer a hindrance for the operator.

Safe machinery provides legal protection for both
manufacturer and user. Machine users expect to be
offered only safe machinery or devices. This expectation is held across the globe, and it is for this
reason that there are regulations on the protection of operators of machinery
worldwide. These regulations are subject to regional variations. However, there
is broad consensus that industrial protection is an issue that needs to be
dealt with efficiently.

A new generation of safety laser scanners

SICK is now embarking on a new
era concerning safety. With the
microScan3, SICK is presenting the new generation of safety laser scanners.
They satisfy stringent international safety standards and provide reliable
protection for hazardous areas, access points, and hazardous points. Every
single detail has been completely revised to satisfy customer requirements in
the best way possible.

The microScan3 is exceptionally
reliable. Its rugged design makes it perfectly suited for use in harsh
industrial day-to-day work. The safety laser scanner is extremely resilient and
boasts a long service life – a factor that also enhances productivity. The bracket
with integrated guide rails means that the scanner can be attached and adjusted
with ultimate ease. Thanks to the proven light-metal die-cast housing,
microScan3 achieves a high level of mechanical resistance.

Important diagnostic
notifications can be viewed immediately on the multi-colour
display and additional information can be
called up using the pushbuttons. The new Safety Designer configuration and
diagnostic software make configuring and
commissioning the system extremely easy. Thanks to the use of smart connection
technology and standardised M12 plug
connectors, the microScan3’s cabling is not just simple – it
also saves on connection costs. The device can also be replaced quickly and
conveniently thanks to the integrated configuration memory in the system plug.

safeHDDMTM scanning technology

Safety laser scanners operate
based on the time-of-flight measurement principle of operation and measure
distances safely and reliably. With time-of-flight measurement, the sensor
emits a pulse beam which the object to be detected (e.g., a person approaching
the sensor) reflects. The time that the beam requires to make this journey is evaluated and the distance to the object
calculated. If a person is in the hazardous area, the safety laser scanner
sends a stop signal to the machine.

With the innovative safeHDDMTM
scanning technology, SICK is making a technological leap with its safety laser
scanners and is setting new standards. safeHDDMTM is based on SICK’s proven
HDDM measurement principle (HDDM = high definition distance measurement). With
its unique approach, this scanning technology is setting the trend for the
reliable evaluation of time-of-flight measurement. This method patented by SICK
carries out intelligent filtering and evaluation of the many individual pulses
to deliver a measurement result that has never been seen before for safety
laser scanners. This is what ensures safeHDDMTM is and remains safe. Even a
very dark object with just 1.8 percent remission, e.g., black clothing, is
reliably detected.

safeHDDMTM combines a
compact design and large scanning range in one device. Even under the most
challenging of conditions, the patented measurement principle maintains clear
sight and enables exceptional performance data. It can scan 275 degrees, and the protective field has a scanning range
of 5.5 meters.

With safeHDDMTM,
microScan3 is considerably more reliable than standard measurement methods – in
ambient light, dirt, and dust.

microScan3 – safe in different situations

It has a wide range of
applications: It protects hazardous areas at loading and unloading stations,
multi-sided access points to machines and material gates, machines in harsh
environments, as well as hazardous points with an object resolution of up to 30
mm. What’s more, it also guarantees presence detection to prevent machines from
being restarted inadvertently.

The safety laser scanner is extremely adaptable
and attuned to different ambient conditions. Protecting hazardous areas,
therefore, doesn’t require any changes to work processes. The sensor is
extremely easy to commission, and there is no need for special preparatory work
when installing it in the system. What’s more, it is straightforward to align,
as the sender and receiver units are accommodated in one device.

Safety technology in the time of industry 4.0

As the technological and market
leader for safety laser scanners, SICK has over twenty years of experience and
can look back on a catalogue of countless
applications which have been successfully solved
with laser scanners. SICK sets trends and develops safety systems to meet
market requirements.

But what is the outlook for the safety
technology of the future against the backdrop of industry 4.0? SICK aims to continue to offer outstanding
customer benefits in the future. Concerning
safety technology, this will be shown in
two important points: fast commissioning and significantly faster system
effectiveness and continuous production, and thus higher system efficiency. Yet, increased productivity and system
effectiveness apart, the safety technology of the future should make the way we
work easier and safer. The essential driver in achieving this aim is
the interaction of people and machines while taking into account workplace
ergonomics and safety. The central questions here are what role people are to
play in the production of the future and
how sensors can support and keep them safe in that role. Because autonomous machines require new safety concepts that
are optimised for the more flexible production methods. These include the
protection of every process step along a production line to deal with
man/machine interactions, which are now significantly less susceptible to
planning. In all of these approaches and solutions, of course, the safety of people
is a priority. The safety aspect must also cover an adaptive approach to the
production environment, such that the safety solutions themselves are flexible
and responsive. Intelligent,
rugged, and reliable sensors are therefore essential
when it comes to meeting the challenges of industry 4.0. The networking between
sensor and machine is set to become more and more important. SICK intends not
just to follow these trends, but also to play a key role in shaping them. Based
on a high-performance platform, the microScan3 product family is constantly being developed: The intelligence and
networkability of the microScan3 will be the driving forces for innovative
safety solutions in the industry 4.0 environment.

Written by: Patrick Hochleitner, Product Manager
for Multi-Dimensional Sensors, SICK AG, Waldkirch, Germany

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