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Pepperl+Fuchs: Accurate Product Measurements for Material Handling

February 9, 2021

The Application

In material handling applications―i.e., indoor warehouses, manufacturing facilities, automotive plants, airports, cold storage―pallets carrying products down a conveyor is a standard application. While standard, there are frequently complex problems that require exact product measurement solutions during this automated process. Conveyor speed and control, anti-collision (ZPA), safeguarding, and of course pallet profiling are among the most common challenges.

The Goal

The product moving down the conveyor on top of the pallet can vary in size and shape. The challenge is ensuring accurate measurement of the product while it is moving down the conveyor belt. The conveyor would require a relatively high resolution, be capable of handling the speed of the conveyor belt, and assure IO-Link compatibility and measurements. Given that height, depth, and width are all essential data, multiple devices are commonly used, which could add complexity to wiring. Lastly, space for mounting is limited so the product must have a slim profile.

The Solution

The LGM measuring light grid is available with various resolutions down to 4mm and field heights up to 3200 mm, permitting large measuring ranges. This satisfies the requirement for precise measurement of various size products for pallets moving on the conveyor belt. Innovative, tool-free mounting accessories make installation, alignment, and replacement fast and easy. The IP67 aluminum enclosure withstands harsh environmental conditions even at cold storage temperatures. The LGM is designed to be integrated with IO-Link for simple connections and easy-to-read measurement values (millimeters). The light grids have an ultra-low profile to fit into tight spaces.

The Benefits

Traditionally, like most other light grids, the LGM series comes with a set, including the emitter and receiver. To collect all necessary measurement values, up to three sets are required for height, depth, and width, providing a full product profile. Those three sets integrate easily into an IO-Link master delivering simplistic wiring, diagnostic data, and most importantly―easy-to-read measurement values. Specific cables are utilized to allow wiring directly between the LGM sets and the IO-Link block, eliminating the need for additional power sources. Even though there are three independent measurements, all are forwarded directly to the sole control system via Fieldbus communication (EtherNet/IP and PROFINET).


Technical Features

  •    –   IO-Link capable for simple replacements through parameter storage.
  •    –   Beam crossover to allow the higher 4mm resolution.
  •    –   Ultra-low profile for limited spaces.
  •    –   Up to 16 predefined measurement modes.




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