Drives & Controls January 2024

TECHNOLOGY n 25 January 2024 SICK HAS ANNOUNCED a next-generation laser-based distance sensor which, it claims, raises the bar for mid- to long-range distance sensing. Using a time-of-flight measuring technology, the DT80 1D sensor is said to achieve an accuracy of ±2mm and a resolution of 0.1mm over ranges of up to 80m. The sensor uses a class 2 eye-safe laser to detect, measure and position targets without needing a reflector. It is easy to integrate and commission, fitting in tight spaces in stationary or mobile machines. The metal-cased sensor can handle challenging conditions, such as vibrations, shocks, strong ambient light and extreme temperatures. Potential applications include production line measurement and monitoring, bin and stillage level sensing, position monitoring of moulds, coil monitoring and length measurement. It can also be used to position cranes and hoists. The 65 x 33 x 57mm sensor offers IP65 and IP67 protection and will accurately detect an object with up to 90% remission at a distance of 80m. For items with extremely dark surfaces and just 6% remission, it can achieve a range of 14m. The sensor is set up using an iconsupported colour display. Four on-sensor LEDs show its status and settings. Alternatively, the DT80 can be configured using Sick’s HTML-based Sopas engineering tool or via IO-Link. The IO-Link capability allows data to be transferred and exchanged between sensors, actuators and control systems. Using an IO-Link-Master with OPC UA, data from the sensor can be exported into analytics and remote diagnostics software, either locally or in the cloud, for condition monitoring and other purposes. Next-generation distance sensor ‘raises the bar’ SIEMENS HAS LAUNCHED an all-in-one security testing suite for industrial communications networks. The Sinec Security Inspector – originally developed for use in its own factories – is a software framework that scans individual network devices, network segments or the entire network infrastructures during maintenance. It brings together “best-in-class” security tools in a single user interface. Michael Metzler, vice-president of horizontal management cybersecurity at Siemens Digital Industries, says the new suite “brings a unique enhanced testing solution to the shopfloor and enables customers to check their entire IT/OT environment, including all individual components”. They can “promptly discover risks and potential hazards which puts them in a position to swiftly mitigate cyber-vulnerabilities. This results in an enormously reduced effort when inspecting industrial networks.” Factories are increasingly combining machines from different suppliers, resulting in a variety of vendors at each site. This means that manufacturers are faced with numerous network security challenges including: asset identification and detection; compliance checks; malware scans; and vulnerability checks. The new suite is intended to address these concerns. The suite has been designed to operate as an open framework. As well as including security tools developed by Siemens, it also contains tools for vulnerability management from the cybersecurity specialist, Tenable. More internal and third-party tools will be added in future. “With industrial companies transforming into digital enterprises, the importance of cybersecurity has grown tremendously,” Metzler says. “The Sinec Security Inspector was initially developed to scan our own factories for network vulnerabilities. After years of testing and improving this tool, it is now just right for protecting any industrial and manufacturing environment.” Industrial network security test suite uses a single interface Sick’s DT80 distance sensor achieves an accuracy of ±2mm and a resolution of 0.1mm over ranges of up to 80m Siemens’ Sinec Security Inspector is an all-in-one security testing suite