Drives and Controls Magazine
Next-generation safety laser scanner has 275-degree field
Published:  18 April, 2016

The German sensing specialist Sick has announced a next-generation safety laser scanner that uses using a patented scanning technology, said to improve productivity and safety. The microScan3 has an unusually wide scanning angle of 275 degrees, an object resolution down to 30mm, a protective field range of up to 5.5m, and a warning field range of up to 40m.

The new scanning technology, called safeHDDM (High Definition Distance Measurement), is based on an advanced time-of-flight measurement technique. It allows the scanner to operate reliably in difficult lighting, or in dirt or dust conditions where other technologies would fail. It provides high resolution and can detect difficult-to-see materials.

The technology incorporates patented distance measurement algorithms that use multi-signal evaluation to achieve a higher level of detection reliability than has been possible with previous safety scanners. Even dark objects with remission of just 1.8%– black clothing, for example – can be detected.

“Sick has revised and optimised every detail of its laser scanner technology to set a new benchmark for machinery safety,” says the company’s UK safety specialist, Dr Martin Kidman. “The microScan3 is a rugged, high-performing and unobtrusive laser scanner, ideal for multi-sided machinery and production line protection at access and loading/unloading points, hazard points, hazardous areas and other critical safety duties.”

Up to eight protective fields can be programmed and there are three universal I/O connections that can be assigned to various signals. A bright, multi-colour text display and additional status LEDs indicate operational status, while easy-to-understand diagnostics information allows local adjustments and corrections.

Sick’s new Safety Designer software simplifies commissioning. Configurations are stored in memory in the system plug, allowing rapid device changeovers. The scanner has a lightweight, rugged metal housing with vibration-resistant brackets, enabling easy installation and adjustment.