The world of automation is rapidly evolving and at the forefront of distance sensors, detection and ranging are technologies developed by SICK Automation. SICK delivers precise information over any distance, and in all environments. SICK’s technologies and processes are created, developed and implemented by SICK. This made SICK Automation South Africa the obvious choice for Rockwell Automation’s Gantry Crane Positioning project with South32.
From Micron to Mile
Rockwell Automation required long-distance, no-contact sensors for gantry crane positioning as part of a larger project for South32. “SICK offers distance sensors from Micron to Mile”, says Prishan Chain, National Sales Manager – Factory and Logistics Automation. “Our distance and positioning sensors are tailored and effective across all distances – something none of our competitors offer.” SICK’s DL100 distance sensors offer fast, reliable and precise positioning over a range of long distances.
Versatile Application across Dimensions
SICK offers customised solutions based on customers’ application requirements. Distance measure processes developed and tested by SICK deliver excellent performance over any distance, in all dimensions, in all surroundings. “SICK’s wide range of solutions measure from sub-microns to kilometres”, says Chain. “Time-of-flight sensors are not influenced by reflectivity or ambient light ? perfect for positioning gantry cranes in harsh environments.” SICK Automation’s technology offers increased detection and performance even in harsh industrial environments such as dusty areas.
Ease of Integration
Equipped with high-developed technologies and a wide range of interfaces, SICK sensors are quick and easy to integrate into various PLC systems without the need for major manual modifications. “The integration technology is highly flexible, in this case via Ethernet, to suit the customer’s preference and ambient conditions,” says Chain. In this project, the distancing sensor head was mounted on the gantry crane. The test bench was at SICK in Lanseria, Johannesburg and live-feed tests between sensor and PLC were conducted on-site. “SICK’s PLC function blocks are written and developed by SICK and available on our website for download, making interface with customers’ systems easy-to-use”.
“This project was Rockwell Automation’s – SICK provided the crane positioning technology”, says Chain. SICK provides a full-basket of services – from consultation and design, to commissioning and engineering – to ensure clients benefit from efficient and cost-saving. The gantry crane positioning technology was newly developed for the Rockwell Automation project. “SICK ensures the latest technology is available and can be readily integrated, which means all customers benefit from long service life and increased system efficiency”.
“SICK offers, and delivers, distancing products that provide high accuracy in low to high distance variations in a unique portfolio of distance, require little to no maintenance, and are extremely price competitive,” says Chain. SICK conducts all its own engineering, from no-cost consulting to design, production and implementation. This means that solutions can be customised for special applications and end-user requirements cost-effectively and reliably.