Quick diagnostics via app - deTec4 safety light curtains
Fitness or health apps read data from fitness wristbands or smartwatches and provide information about the current performance of the user. The apps also provide additional services such as digital manuals for the relevant devices, configuration wizards, and much more besides. SICK follows this example and equips the deTec4 safety light curtains with NFC technology so that device data can be read out via an app.
All functions can still be configured without software. In order to illustrate the functional scope and performance of the light curtains, the SICK app offers quick on-site diagnostics via NFC connection. The customer holds his smartphone with the app up to the light curtain and obtains the device information. The light curtains are the passive part of the NFC connection. In order to send the saved information, they use the energy transferred from the smartphone. Enough energy is transferred via the active transmitter to send the information from the light curtain over a short distance.
This makes it possible to check deTec4 configurations quickly even if the light curtains in question are in storage. Thanks to an intelligent device concept with function packages that are configured via system plugs, plant manufacturers or operators can keep the basic device length and resolution variants that are relevant to their plant concepts in stock, and they have a flexible way of adding, i.e. simply “plugging in”, extra functions (function packages) as and when required. Thanks to the integrated NFC tag in the deTec4 receiver, the app displays the setting options for the DIP switch in the system plug in the configuration wizard and provides the resulting image for the desired configuration.
IO-Link for diagnostics and automation
When it comes to diagnostics, we at SICK are going even one step further: deTec4 receivers are getting a standard IO-Link interface. While the NFC technology provides on-site diagnostics in a snapshot-like fashion, IO-Link makes it possible to read out diagnostic data continuously regardless of location. The data can be visualized via the SICK software platform SOPAS. In addition, beam data can be used in muting applications for tasks such as height measurement and further automation.
An IO-Link interface, NFC, advanced diagnostic LEDs, and indicator lights will be integrated as standard in future. New functions such as intelligent presence detection to prevent unwanted shutdowns and variable protective field widths in three scanning ranges are easy to add with the new system male connector.
The intelligent device concept of the deTec4 safety light curtains illustrates our understanding of safetyIQ: the innovative approach that opens up new dimensions of productivity while continuing to focus on our key concern – protecting people.
Head of Business Unit Light Beam Systems
Heiko Kahle has been leading the Light Beam Systems department since 2010. The qualified electrical engineer has been active in SICK’s Industrial Safety segment since 2000, with various positions in product management for optoelectronic safety sensors.