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Switching automation light grids
FlexChain

The flexible and efficient detection system in one chain

Your Benefits

  • Flexibly expandable light grid system: Up to 60 sensors can be cascaded and controlled centrally via the FlexChain Host
  • Ready for operation immediately: The sensors are identified and taught in at the push of a button
  • Optimum measurement certainty thanks to sequential sensor cycling without mutual interference
  • Highly flexible positioning of through-beam photoelectric sensors, photoelectric retro-reflective sensors and photoelectric proximity sensors at any distances or in any positions
  • High process stability thanks to extensive diagnostic function
  • High flexibility due to logic configuration in the Host and the IO-Link, CANopen and RS-485 interface variants

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    Overview

    The flexible and efficient detection system in one chain

    The FlexChain is a flexibly configurable light grid thanks to the sequential connection of several sensors. There is no need for long connection cables or complex wiring. By pressing a button on the FlexChain Host, the sensors can be addressed and taught-in automatically, meaning the system is immediately ready for use. Different sensor technologies can be combined and freely arranged: Through-beam photoelectric sensors, photoelectric sensors. The raw sensor data is evaluated via the FlexChain Host with integrated logic modules or forwarded directly via IO-Link, CANopen, RS-485 or I/O signals. Detailed diagnostic information ensures optimum process stability and measurement certainty during operation.

    At a glance
    • Ultra-simple wiring for up to 60 sensors
    • Sequential cycling prevents mutual interference
    • Free arrangement of various sensor technologies
    • Sensors available in different lengths of cable
    • Sensor data evaluation in the system or direct transmission of raw data
    • Process stability thanks to diagnostic function

    Benefits

    Simple installation and implementation save time and money

    Cascading the individual sensors saves on cabling and makes it easier to integrate them into the existing system. The sensor system is available with different pigtails. Even with complex arrangements, there is therefore no need to spend money on additional connections. FlexChain is remarkably quick to implement, as the entire system works as one unit without any complex wiring in the control unit.

    More efficient integration

    Cost-effective: The sensor comes with an integrated pigtail. There is no need for additional cables.
    Minimal effort: Cascading makes cabling much easier compared against point-to-point connections.
    Instant on: The FlexChain host detects all sensors automatically. Data transmission starts at the touch of a button.

    Installation and implementation of FlexChain is remarkably simple. Automatic sensor detection and cascaded cabling also save time and money during system integration.

    Greater flexibility with optimum measurement certainty

    The light grid technology with sequential cycling prevents the signals of the individual sensors from overlapping. There is therefore no chance of obtaining incorrect measurement data. This means that narrow arrangements can be implemented without a rigid light grid, allowing them to be better adapted to the individual conditions of the system. In addition, the sensor technology can be freely selected based on requirements. As a result, FlexChain increases the ruggedness and flexibility of the application.

    More flexible positioning

    Optimum measurement certainty: Sequential cycling prevents the signals from overlapping
    Freely positionable thanks to individual length of cables: Compared to conventional light grids, the beams can be positioned wherever they are needed.
    FlexChain, the individual light grid: Whether through-beam photoelectric sensors, photoelectric retro-reflective sensors or photoelectric proximity sensors – the sensor technology can be freely selected and combined.

    FlexChain can be flexibly adapted to the application on a case-by-case basis. The system delivers reliable results no matter which sensor arrangement or sensor technology is used.

    Full transparency for system and sensor data

    FlexChain also offers full flexibility for sensor data. These are either forwarded directly to the controller or evaluated with ease in the system itself. What’s more, FlexChain offers extensive diagnostic options: Parameters such as sensor information, contamination level, and communication status can be viewed at any time. This enables errors, failures and downtimes to be effectively prevented thanks to early recognition of problems.

    Intelligent functionality

    Intuitive operation: Define zones, configure logic, and monitor the sensors with ease using the SOPAS software tool – convenient connection of the FlexChain host via USB
    Numerous interfaces: Whether IO-Link, CANopen, RS-485 or configurable switching outputs – integration into virtually any system is possible.
    high process reliability: Diagnostic parameters from the sensors and system are available at any time to prevent downtimes or measurement errors

    Whether it is flexible data transmission, the ability to work with various interfaces, or real-time diagnostics that you need – FlexChain can be conveniently and reliably integrated into virtually any environment

    Applications

    Technical overview

     
    • Technical data overview

      Technical data overview

      VersionHost / Guest
      ConfigurationUSB connection for easy configuration of the FlexChain with SOPAS ET, the engineering tool from SICK
      Configuration

      Sensor parameterization

      Zone definition

      Measurement functions

      Logic function

      Interface parameterization

      Diagnostics functions

      Sensor principle

      Photoelectric proximity sensor

      Photoelectric retro-reflective sensor

      Through-beam photoelectric sensor

      Sensing range max.0 m ... 15 m
      Length of cable0.15 ... 1.5
      Connection type

      Cable with plug M12, 5-pin 1)

      Cable with plug M12, 8-pin 1)

      Male connector M8, 4-pin

      Cable with receptacle, M8, 4-pin, 0.5 m

      Cable with receptacle, M8, 4-pin, 1.5 m

      Cable with receptacle, M8, 4-pin, 0.15 m

      Light source

      PinPoint LED, visible red light

      PinPoint LED, Infrared light

      Dimensions (W x H x D)

      109.4 mm x 25 mm x 35 mm

      12 mm x 31.5 mm x 21 mm

      WeightApprox. 23 g ... approx. 161 g
      • 1) PLC communication control.
    All technical data can be found accompanying the individual product

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