Drives & Controls April 2024

n TECHNOLOGY April 2024 24 SICK HAS UNVEILED what it claims in the world’s rst photoelectric proximity sensor with a touchscreen display. The W10 sensor’s swipe-up touchscreen technology, combined with simple icons, makes set-up and teach-in “intuitive”, the company says. The sensor’s settings are pre-con gured for rapid installation with common functions, such as background or foreground suppression, available from a single device. The W10 is suitable for presence and leading-edge detection duties, even with highly re‰ective, dark or uneven surfaces. It can be used, for example, for level detection in bowl feeders, or presence detection of components with irregular shapes or heights, even if they have shiny surfaces. The sensor uses intelligent onboard algorithms to achieve high repeatability. “For the rst time, it’s exciting to operate a sensor that feels as natural to use as a mobile phone,” says Sick UK’s presence detection product manager, David Hannaby. “The touchscreen display is revolutionary. Just swipe up, select and con gure. The W10 guides you eŒortlessly through the operating modes needed for any installation from the very big to the very small. “With just four product variants, choosing the sensor you need for your application has never been more straightforward,” he adds. “The W10 turns the headache of having to select and stock perhaps hundreds of diŒerent spares into a single part number.” The sensor uses the laser triangulation detection principle. Accurate, reliable operation is assured by a focused beam that produces a small light spot, in combination with a precise evaluation receiver. There is a short-range version with a working distance of 20–400mm, as well as a long-range version with a range of 20–700mm. Reliable switching is assured at high speeds with a response time of 1.5ms in speed mode. With an IP69K-protected stainless-steel housing and an eye-safe Class One visible red laser, the sensor has built-in modes for standard, high-speed or precision operation. It is resilient to harsh washdown environments. A screen-locking function and access restrictions can be set up to prevent unwanted changes to the sensor settings. Single-value teach-in enables rapid con guration at a de ned distance, while two-value teach-in enables objects of diŒerent heights to be detected without increasing the risk of errors. A manual mode extends the options for increased ‰exibility. The W10 incorporates IO-Link, allowing the sensor data can be shared with IoT systems, for applications such as machine diagnostics and troubleshooting, as well as for edge con gurations. IO-link also oŒers the option of remote set-up and easy device replacement. ‘First’ touchscreen swipe sensor operates like a smartphone A GERMAN ROBOT-MAKER, fruitcore robotics, has announced a new generation of digital robots which, it claims, will “rede ne costeŒectiveness in industrial automation”. It adds that its AI-supported Horst1500 robots will have the lowest service life costs on the market. Thanks to AI-supported, intuitive operation, new jobs can be set up quickly and e¡ciently, even without expert knowledge. The compact, lightweight (99kg) robot is aimed especially at machine-loading and palletising applications. Its small size and 1,485mm reach mean that it can be positioned in front of a machine and can reach deep into it to load/unload items weighing up to 15kg, and to process pallets. Fruitcore says that the IP54-protected robot has low capital and maintenance costs, and uses a gearbox that will last up to four times longer than standard boxes (backed by a six-year warranty). The robot’s kinematics are optimised using machine learning, and it is said to be characterised by high dynamics and rapid axis acceleration. The AI-supported horstOS control software is designed for ‰exibility. For example, when machine-loading tasks change, users – even non-experts – will be able to set up new orders in less than an hour. “With Horst1500, we are taking a huge leap forward,” says fruitcore’s managing director, Patrick Heimburger. “Last year, we were the rst company in the world to integrate ChatGPT into our control software. Now we are also reaching a new milestone with the hardware.” “Our vision is to give companies and people time to secure their future,”adds CEO, Jens Riegger. “With Horst1500 and the new generation of digital robots, we have taken a big step towards this major goal. Never before has such a powerful industrial robot been so easy to use.” Series production of the new robots is due to start in July. AI-driven robot ‘will rede ne cost-e ectiveness’ Sick’s touchscreen sensor is quick and easy to set up Fruitcore says its Horst1500 robot represents “a big leap forward”