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Sensing the future of Industry 4.0

03 March 2016

SICK has set a technology milestone in sensing capability for logistics, warehousing and goods handling with the new PowerProx, offering unprecedented versatility to detect any object on a high-speed production line with one range of sensors.

SICK has achieved a step change in sensing performance and value by packing the benefits of laser Time-of-Flight (ToF) technology into PowerProx’s compact housing to deliver high-performance distance sensing, proximity and object detection.

A sensor in the PowerProx range can be used to replace most distance and proximity sensors in a goods handling facility. Engineers can choose from a range of just four sensors to achieve highly accurate results over a wide distance range between 50mm and 3.8 metres.

The precision of ToF laser technology, when combined with SICK’s Advanced Background Suppression, also mean the PowerProx sensors offer a high degree of angular tolerance and are not affected by the ambient light or by dust, spray and particles. PowerProx operates according to the scanning principle, so there is no need for reflectors or receivers.

The SICK PowerProx is very easy to teach. The multitask sensor is adjusted via a potentiometer or teach-in button. There are versions available with either 1 or 2 separately adjustable switching thresholds depending on the application.

Using IO-Link, up to eight switching points can be remotely taught and a “window mode” to be taught using a laser spot, ranged and set on the desired object. IO-Link also enables high-accuracy measurements to be output from the ToF sensor signal for determining range, position, height or size. Eye safety is assured with a class 1 laser and the VISTAL housing ensures the device is sufficiently rugged. Installation is simple with a wide choice of mounting option accessories.

In packaging, warehousing and logistics applications, the PowerProx’s two adjustable switching points make it possible to set distance quickly and easily, and the angular tolerance and background suppression will enable reliable recognition and sorting of different sized packages and boxes.

A choice of three PowerProx sensor options is available in the same compact housing for distance, high-speed and high-precision options. The fourth, the PowerProx Small, at 46 x 34 x 17.6 mm is probably the smallest sensor currently available at its performance level. 

Up to eight switching points can be set using IO-Link. With quick response times, high switching frequencies and reliable object detections at ranges up to 2.5m, the PowerProx Speed is ideal for packaging and component collation applications, or for any top speed application, such as high-speed counting. The quick response time also facilitates accurate edge detection, for example on crowded conveyor belts.

PowerProx Precision

PowerProx Precision is the best choice for detecting small objects from a distance up to 1.8 metres. Ideal for applications in components handling, it is a reliable solution for quality control, automated handling and assembly applications.

PowerProx Small

With PowerProx Small, SICK has achieved Time of Flight technology in the world’s smallest housing, with sensing ranges up to 2.5m and high switching frequencies up to 1,000HZ for high speed applications. With versatile connection options, it offers flexibility of use across a wide range of different fields.