MLG: the first automation light curtain with IO-Link
Waldkirch, November 2006 – Whether purely switching or with a measurement function – the MLG automation light curtain from SICK now has an optional IO-Link interface. This allows the MLG to be integrated in the fieldbus environment of a machine or plant with the help of an appropriate connection module. Users profit from wide-ranging possibilities and added values in parameterisation, online process monitoring, and diagnosis of sensor functions.
Sensors can be coupled to the fieldbus via IO-Link, and detected and contacted both at the machine control panel and from a distant control room. This concept not only allows the transmission of digital switching states and digitalised analogue values, but also a large amount of supplementary information, e.g. a contamination warning, the presence of sources of interference in the area of operation, the quality of the switching signal, the current scanning distance, or the sensor’s serial number.
Advantages in parameterisation, processes and diagnosis
The IO-Link option offers a range of important advantages for users of the MLG. Thus the MLG can be parameterised directly from the machine or plant automation system. Basic functions such as height measurement, division into zones, or the checking of presence can be activated via IO-Link, as can teach-in or the process-oriented blanking of beams. In operation, the combination of sensor and IO-Link provides important data that contribute towards optimising processes. It is possible to test the transmitter module, monitor sensor contamination, synchronise the transmitter and receiver, or ensure an optimum receiver signal during the teach-in process.
Conversely, IO-Link also offers the possibility of contacting the MLG from the controller at regular intervals – to check sensor functions. This opportunity of carrying out cyclical remote maintenance allows targeted preventive servicing, minimising machine downtimes. Thus the MLG + IO-Link concept offers a high level of future technological security – ensuring safe investments.
MLG: the measuring light curtain for detecting large and small objects
The MLG light curtain is a versatile, modular, configurable automation solution for pure switching applications as well as measurement tasks. Among other things, it offers beam separation options of 10, 20, 30 or 50 mm, monitoring heights of between 100 mm and 3,140 mm, two ranges of 0 - 5 m or 0 - 8.5 m, as well as a variety of mounting solutions. The electronics are completely accommodated in a compact device housing. The most interesting potential uses include the detection of object heights (e.g. on a conveyor system or in a storage space), the regulation of web slack, the division and monitoring of zones (e.g. for monitoring pick-to-light processes), the classification of objects on the basis of their size, and the checking of edges and profiles.