Launched in a global release this week, SICK’s next-generation W16 and W26 smart sensors with “BluePilot” alignment are at the helm of a streamlined portfolio of photoelectric sensors, radically-upgraded to optimise ease-of-use with complete object detection reliability.
The W16 and W26 proximity, reflex and through-beam sensors are manufactured at a purpose-built, fully-automated production facility in southern Germany. They mark the culmination of a two-year, €multi-million research and development project involving extensive consultation with SICK customers worldwide.
The sensors combine many innovations to optimise ease of use while offering rugged immunity to the harshest environmental challenges in the warehousing, storage and logistics industries, says David Hannaby, SICK’s UK Product Manager for Presence Detection.
“When we asked our customers in the logistics sector what is most important to them for future development of sensors, they put usability top of the list; they already expected our sensors to be robust, 100% reliable and always available.
“So, we set out on a journey to achieve the best of all worlds in one family. We developed the new operating technologies our customers wanted, as well as bringing together all of SICK’s leading optical sensing capabilities for reliable object detection in logistics.
“The sensors achieve consistent performance stability, including easy and reliable beam alignment over long distances and reliable detection of shiny, perforated or transparent materials.”
For usability, the W16 and W26 sensors are launched with SICK’s new BluePilot assistant, which features five top-mounted LEDS for quick, easy and accurate alignment of the sensor’s light spot even over long distances. The BluePilot combines a potentiometer and teach-in button to simplify set up, range assessment and application mode selection and a provides real-time on-sensor status display.
Manufactured in new robotic production facility to ensure consistent plug-and-play alignment of every device, the SICK W16 and W26 sensors incorporate a range of best-in-class optics that meet any detection challenge:
SICK’s patented Twin-Eye technology achieves reliable detection for reflective materials such as films, foils and contrast-rich or uneven surfaces. The Twin-Eye’s unique second receiving channel builds in high process stability reducing the risk of false or missed signals due to deflections of the light beam.
SICK has incorporated LineSpot linear optics to provide highly-reliable detection where the object has mesh, perforations, integral gaps or breaks.
SICK ClearSens optical filter technology makes light work of semi-transparent and transparent objects, such as bottles and plastic trays. Intuitive mode selection on the device make it easy to set up the sensor according to the characteristics of object to be detected.
With SICK’s revolutionary OptoFilter technology onboard, the sensors are completely immune to interference from unwanted light sources and reflections, including LED lighting, hi-viz safety workwear or reflections from machinery.
SICK’s AutoAdapt function means if the reflector or the front screen of the sensor becomes contaminated, the photoelectric sensor automatically adjusts its switching thresholds for reliable detection.
An industry first in-built Bluetooth option allows easy monitoring and advanced commissioning from smart phones or tablets.
Smart IO-Link two-way communication is standard on all devices to enable easy set up and parameter cloning of replacement sensors, addressability and diagnostic functions, as well as opportunity to incorporate sensor-level smart tasks such as counting and time measurement.
Every W16 and W26 comes in a robust Vistal housing to withstand all chemical, thermal and mechanical environmental conditions as well shocks and vibrations. The casing is laser-etched with all product identification so that the sensor remains easily identifiable even after years of service. A 2D barcode enables easy identification and access to product manuals via mobile phone.