Waldkirch, December 2015 – Sensor specialist SICK enjoyed a successful appearance at this year's SPS IPC Drives exhibition in Nuremberg. The company's presentation focused this year on the safety technology of the future, as demonstrated by two new products in particular: microScan3 and deTec4 Prime.
The new deTec4 Prime safety light curtain combines the properties of existing light curtain variants in one device and tops them off with some new added functions – all housed in a slim, space-saving design.
The new microScan3 safety laser scanner, meanwhile, is the product of SICK's extensive knowledge, experience, and innovative ability. microScan3 meets stringent international safety standards and sets the benchmark for individual safety and productivity.
“Batch size of 1” with SICK
The integrated solutions relating to Industry 4.0 proved particularly popular at the exhibition, with typical production applications presented in four different exhibits. The SICK sensors on display demonstrated how intelligent use of sensor data can already boost flexibility and productivity. The data was also aggregated in a cloud in a live demonstration by IBM, while various web services showed the possibilities of fully integrated solutions online. The highlight of the Industry 4.0 exhibits was a robot fitted with SICK sensor technology, which produced a personally engraved cup for visitors right in front of their eyes. The desired text was written to an RFID tag beforehand. The robot detected the RFID tag from around three meters away and began to write the text on the cup using a laser.
This demonstration incorporated key elements of the human/robot collaborations of the future. For example, the robot worked much more slowly when there were visitors present in its monitoring field in order to avoid endangering their safety. This is possible thanks to the safety laser scanners from SICK, which work with a range of protective fields. If a visitor without an RFID tag approached the robot, it stopped completely to ensure the visitor's safety. Once the engraving was complete, the robot picked up the cup and placed it in a set position for the customer to collect. If there were no cups to engrave, the robot carried out quality checks for food products and worked with the latest vision sensors from SICK.
SICK is one of the world's leading manufacturers of sensors and sensor solutions for industrial applications. Founded in 1946 by Dr. Erwin Sick, the company is headquartered in the German town of Waldkirch, in the Breisgau region near the city of Freiburg. It is a technology and market leader, maintaining a global presence with more than 50 subsidiaries and equity investments as well as numerous agencies. In the 2014 fiscal year, SICK had around 7,000 employees worldwide and generated Group revenues of €1,099.8 million.