Laser scanner offers versatile protection
A new alternative to safety light curtains comes in the form of Omron's OS32C range of compact laser safety scanners. Claimed to be the most compact scanners of their type, and so easily accommodated even where mounting space is limited, the OS32C laser scanners fully satisfy the requirements of ISO 13849 for Performance Level d and Safety Category 3 without requiring the use of a dedicated safety controller.
OS32C safety scanners use time-of-flight measurement to determine distance. They emit a laser pulse and measure the time it takes for this to return to the scanner after it is reflected by an object. This allows the scanner to accurately calculate the distance to the object and thereby determine whether it is in the user-defined safety zone.
Configuration of the safety zones is a straightforward process that can be performed in real time using a PC. Up to 70 zone set combinations are possible, making the new sensors ideal for even the most complex of AGV applications, where their low power consumption of just 5W is also an important benefit. When used for intrusion detection, the units have the benefit of not physically blocking the entrance aperture, while in machine guarding applications their detection angle of 270deg means that two sides of a machine can be protected with a single scanner.
The OS32C scanners use a two-part construction comprising an I/O block and the sensor itself. All of the programming is stored in the I/O block so that should a sensor be damaged it can be replaced quickly and easily without the need for reprogramming. The I/O module also features an Ethernet interface that makes it easy to network and manage multiple sensors in even the most complex of applications.
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