Go out into the world - SICK is presenting a worldwide innovation with the outdoorScan3

With the outdoorScan3 safety laser scanner, SICK is now entering the outdoor areas of industrial environments. With this product, SICK has closed another gap in the complete automation of industrial processes and strengthened the functioning collaboration between humans and machines. One of the applications SICK has its eye on is the safe and reliable navigation of automated guided vehicle systems outside the gates, despite weather influences such as sun, rain, snow or fog. Many others are currently in the works and a wide range of other applications is imaginable. This brings us one step closer to a real self-controlling value-added chain in the spirit of Industry 4.0. With the jump from indoors to outdoors, the manufacturer of intelligent sensor solutions is once again pushing the limits of the possible - worldwide. 

 

 

Unique functionality in all weather conditions

The outdoorScan3 has its increased resistance to sunlight, rain, snow and fog to thank for its excellent outdoor qualities. It uses the newly-developed outdoor safeHDDM® scan technology for this purpose. This technology means the laser scanner can work without errors when exposed to sunlight with an illumination intensity of up to 40,000 lux. In addition, the intelligent software algorithm of the outdoorScan3 detects rain and snow, easily filtering out these environmental influences – rain, for example, up to a precipitation intensity of 10 mm/h. Even in fog with a meteorological visual range of up to 50 m, the outdoorScan3 detects all obstacles with total reliability, due to its special fogSight fog function. 

 

 

Solidarity: Automated process both in- and outdoors

The production chain is often not restricted to connected indoor areas. Automated guided vehicles, also called AGVs, are part of everyday business in and around many production halls. They transport loads and ensure that conveyor belts are refilled. Automated guided vehicle systems facilitate a flexible and productive material flow and will be a key technology in the automation concepts of the future. However, these systems can only be used in a working environment that is shared by humans and machines thanks to safety laser scanners, which ensure the two can work together safely and people are protected. With the outdoorScan3, in the future automated guided vehicle systems will be able to perform tasks outdoors as well – with no additional protective devices whatsoever and without having to significantly lower their speed. The outdoorScan3 is closing an important gap in the automation of industrial processes.
Outdoor use poses even greater challenges to safety sensors than indoor use. Inside halls, weather conditions have no influence and the light and temperature conditions do not change so extremely. However, sensors have to be sensitive outside when they need to detect weak signals to safely detect people. At the same time, they must ignore signals that disturb their work. The outdoorScan3 reliably masters these challenges and can be used in temperature ranges from -25 to +50 °C.

 

 

Versatile range of applications

The outdoorScan3 is already used for positioning passenger boarding bridges, for instance, as well as for protecting and navigating automated guided vehicle systems. Of course, the field of application of the safety laser scanner is much wider and countless other areas of application are imaginable, for example in agriculture, logistics and in port facilities.
With the development of the outdoorScan3, SICK is leading the way and showing its innovative strength. SICK is also setting standards for when it comes to legislation. A completely new standard should answer the question of safety in outdoor areas in general terms. The internationally valid standard IEC 62998 was initiated by SICK and is being developed in an international consortium. It is expected to go into effect at the beginning of 2019. The outdoorScan3 will also be ensuring safety worldwide in outdoor areas in 2019.

You can find more information on protecting mobile platforms at www.sick.com/mobile-platforms

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Head of Product Management, Torsten Rapp leads the “Multidimensional Sensors” section of the Industrial Safety department at SICK. He joined the company in 1997 and has been in Product Management ever since.