New MLG-2 automation light grid: No more compromises, simply more detection

Nov 24, 2014
Waldkirch/Nuremberg, November 2014

MLG-2 is the new generation of intelligent automation light grids from SICK. The product family sets a new standard in terms of resolutions, response times, evaluation options and ease of use. The MLG-2 can detect anything, from transparent or small objects to fast-moving ones, even when there is hardly anything to detect at all. The light grid, which is currently available in two variants, adapts to different automation requirements, focusing on quick commissioning and simple operation.

The basis for the new light grid platform for automation technology is a specially developed ASIC, which enables a wide range of new, intelligent functions. In conjunction with the consistent modularity of the MLG-2 with regard to light beam grid, monitoring height, scanning range, and interfaces, the light grid can be configured to cover the exact requirements and automation specifications of any application. The MLG-2 is also extremely reliable: the operating temperature range is between −30°C und +55°C, the enclosure ratings IP65 and IP67 are combined in one sensor, and the absolute resistance to constant light up to 200,000 lux means that the light grid cannot be dazzled in any spectral range.

No job is too great. And no job too small
With its two current variants – “Prime” and “Pro” – the MLG-2 product family meets the requirements of both standard and more challenging applications. Both versions are easy to configure and provide analog and digital outputs as well as IO-Link in version 1.1. The user-friendly design extends to commissioning and operation, making it easy to get the MLG-2 up and running without the need for specialized personnel. The cloning functionality saves time when setting the same configuration on several light grids, or if a light grid needs to be replaced.

MLG-2 Prime: Key functions integrated “ex works”
The measuring MLG-2 Prime with either 5 m or 8.5 m operating range is used for height measurement, pallet detection, and protrusion monitoring in the field of intralogistics. It provides beam separations of 5 mm, 10 mm, 25 mm up to 50 mm, and is exceptionally easy to handle during commissioning: The parameters, operating modes, and output functions can be easily taught in or entered and visualized via an operating display. The senders and receivers are synchronized optically, i.e. without cables.

MLG-2 Pro offers exceptional performance
With its intelligent design, the MLG-2 Pro represents a further step up in performance. The SOPAS configuration software makes it possible to start a simulation of the application once the configuration is complete, which is shown as a 2D animation in the software user interface. In addition, a range of operating modes allows the light grid to be quickly adapted to specific applications. Several of these are integrated in the light grid as firmware and can be activated via SOPAS. The software can also represent the detection of objects graphically, enabling an excellent assessment of the application with regard to detection:
The “Transparent Mode” function makes it possible to detect transparent objects reliably, whether it is films in pallet wrappers or the height of transparent packages. The effects of contamination can be taught in to enable the switching threshold to be adjusted and updated. This increases the length of continuous use and extends the maintenance intervals accordingly.
When combined with the cross-beam function, the “High measurement accuracy” function enables objects as small as 2 mm to be detected reliably, e.g., in a tool inspection. The 2 mm resolution also allows extremely precise detection of web widths. At the same time, thanks to its quick response times, the MLG-2 Pro is an exceptionally fast light grid. The speed is improved further in “Highspeed Scan” mode which, when used, makes the MLG-2 one of the fastest modular automation light grids on the market whilst also ensuring optimal performance at high speeds.

The MLG-2 Pro also offers “Green Mode”, an energy-saving operating mode. In this mode, the light grid goes on standby when it is not active in order to minimize electricity consumption and save money.

MLG-2: Wide range of applications
Thanks to its integrated intelligence, the automation light grid is extremely versatile. In addition to the application possibilities in intralogistics mentioned above, it can also be used in machine tool, in traffic engineering (separating and qualifying vehicles), in automotive engineering, in the forest industry, or in robotics.