IDEC’s Small Safety Laser Scanner

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 11:03 AM gHale

IDEC’s compact scanner fits into tight spaces on AGVs and forklifts, and into robot and moving machinery protection zones.

IDEC Corporation released the SE2L Safety Laser Scanner, a small safety laser scanner with master/slave functionality and dual protection zones.

A laser scanner is a safety device that uses the reflection of laser beams to detect the presence of objects or people. The scanner is certified for use in safety applications including AGVs, forklifts, robots and other items of moving equipment found in industrial facilities.

Master/slave functionality allows one SE2L scanner to act as master and communicate with up to three other scanners. The safety controller only needs to communicate with the master, reducing the required number of input and communication channels on the controller. This can allow lower-cost safety controllers to be used in applications such as providing full 360-degree protection for an AGV, which requires four scanners.

Dual zone protection allows one SE2L scanner to scan two adjacent zones simultaneously and independently, performing the work of two scanners for the cost of one. A common application is providing dual light curtain protection for two robots mounted side by side. In many applications, dual zone protection cuts costs in half.

The scanner provides a standard 270-degree arc of protection at a distance up to 20 meters, and this protection area can end up configured into any pattern using either free programming software provided with the scanner, or with the scanner’s teach mode. The software provides drop-and-drag functionality to configure the protection area into any pattern within its 270-degree arc of protection. The teach mode scans obstructions in its standard 270-degree arc of protection to produce a pattern. Up to 32 patterns can be stored in the scanner, and different patterns can be selected and applied on the fly by sending commands to the scanner through the Ethernet port, or by configuring the encoder input to react to changes in speed.

A common application for multiple patterns is with an AGV or forklift. A large pattern is used when the equipment is moving at top speed, with smaller patterns used as the equipment slows down. This allows plants to keep safe working distances and reaction times, while still maintaining operating efficiencies.

It is possible to program up to three different zones of protection into each pattern. The Protection Zone is closest to the scanner and extends up to 5m. Warning Zone 1 is next and Warning Zone 2 is farthest from the scanner, with each extending up to 20m from the scanner. Each zone’s shape within the pattern can be configured in the software, and each zone activates a different signal output from the scanner.

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