Reliable Detection of Gapless Consecutive Boxes Moving on Accumulating Conveyors

Challenge

sensor_tgw_2_medTGW is one of the world’s leading system providers of highly dynamic, automated and integrated materials handling solutions for warehousing, production, order picking and distribution. Together with its American subsidiary, the TGW headquarters in Wels, Austria, has developed a control engineering solution which enables direct handling of carton boxes. The solution comprises a pneumatic accumulation roller conveyor with low dynamic pressure and a corresponding logic module – the CRUZ-Control unit – which enables the user to remove boxes from the conveyor either individually or in a chain. In order to detect the boxes, TGW was looking for a sensor solution which could be integrated into the conveyor segment without taking up much space, required no setting work and could be connected directly to the logic module. By working closely with SICK, they were able to find a suitable solution.

Application Solution

Together with SICK developers, TGW created a miniature photoelectric sensor (Z sensor) for detecting the cartons that fulfilled all of the company’s requirements. Due to its miniature design, the sensor can be optimally installed in defined slots in the roller conveyor segments. The lack of complicated setting options, the minimal need for additional functions and the direct connection to the logic modules, make commissioning much easier, and the sensor much more economically attractive. In operation, the integrated ASIC technology guarantees high detection performance, due to features such as the reliable background suppression and safeguarding against the influence of neighboring sensors. The specific requirements demanded a special design that enabled the optics to turn steplessly in different directions, in a similar way to the human eye.

Benefits

  • Close cooperation during project definition and development leads to optimum realization of the customer’s wishes
  • Miniature and special designs allow space-saving detection solutions to match specific applications
  • Focus on basic functions and direct connection to logic modules reduce procurement and commissioning costs.

The sensors from SICK play an important role in enhancing the performance of the TGW accumulation roller conveyors, as their miniature and special designs enable space-saving detection solutions to match specific applications. Their economical advantages are also impressive: by concentrating on the basic, essential sensor functions and the direct connection to the logic modules, SICK has reduced TGW’s procurement and commissioning costs. The close cooperation between TGW and SICK was also key to the successful solution of the task. Josef Reischl, Product Manager for Conveyor Systems at TGW Mechanics GmbH, confirmed this: “SICK offers an all-round package, from the quality of the products to the scope of services provided, e.g. for new products developed for a special customer or application.” The joint project definition and development meant that the full extent of the customer’s wishes could be fulfilled.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Collision Avoidance: Control Networked Laser Scanners Protect Automatic Guided Sensors

Challenge

Laser Scanner ProjectThe Italian company, Elettric 80, is a global supplier of system solutions for packing technology and intralogistics. In the LGV (Laser Guided Vehicle) sector, Elettric 80 was searching for a new vehicle protection system which guaranteed maximum reliability. As such, the company required a development partner which could provide the right safety solution. The 360° protection of a fully-automatic, three-wheeled forklift truck required a complete solution which not only offered the correct sensor technology for the intended function, but was also specifically designed to take into account economic efficiency in procurement, integration and operation. The 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. At the same time, the aim was to develop a standardized, modular safety concept which could be flexibly adapted for all LGV variants. SICK was able to complete this automation and technical safety challenge successfully.

Application Solution

Based on these specifications, Elettric 80 and SICK have developed a solution which meets all the requirements given. It consists of two safety laser scanners (S300) which monitor the rear and side vehicle areas, a further safety laser scanner (S3000) for protecting the vehicle routes and the area below the load carrier, and a safety controller (Flexi Soft). All the components have 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 docking areas, the other two devices are used to monitor the entire rear and side areas. The scanners are connected to the flexible configurable Flexi Soft, which communicates with the sensors via the CAN bus-based EFI (Enhanced Functional Interface). Its modular hardware also makes it much simpler to project safety system solutions for Elettric 80.

Benefits

  • Protection for automatic guided vehicles which complies to directives and standards
  • Networked, integration-friendly safety solution
  • Can be flexibly adapted to other vehicle types and applications
  • Sensors, control technology and service from a single source guarantees risk-free integration by using safe laser scanners and control technology

Elettric 80 can rely on protection for automatic guided vehicles which complies with directives and standards. The networking of selected safety laser scanners and a configurable safety controller is highly scalable. As all the scanners can be configured and diagnosed centrally the wiring times and the risk of wiring errors are kept to a minimum. Thanks to the openness of the solution, it is also possible to connect further additional safety sensors – even after initial installation. Overall, this solution is currently the only one of its kind in the world, suitable for all Elettric 80 LGVs. “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 minimizing any interfacing risks.”

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote