Smart factories have several safety devices to keep industrial equipment and workers safe. They accomplish this by preventing people from entering potentially hazardous areas and keeping machines from colliding with workers or other machines. These safety devices include cable pull switches, interlock switches, and safety light curtains.
You may have heard of or used most of these safety devices in some way or another. However, there is one more safety device you may not know much about. It is called a safety laser scanner.
A Safety Laser Scanner: What Is It?
A safety laser scanner is like a motion detector, but the former is much more advanced. Beyond detecting movement, it can tell if an animal, object, or person is in its detection zone. If you get into a motion detector's range and stand still, it won't pick up on anything. However, you won't be able to trick a safety laser scanner in the same way.
Safety laser scanners use lasers instead of infrared light or acoustic signals to determine whether any person or object is in the detection zone, even if they move. These sensing devices are designed to protect personnel and machines by sending a laser signal to stop a nearby machine or people when these elements come into closer contact.
Safety laser scanners offer different levels of protection, programmable alarms, and contamination monitoring. Their wide-angle detection zone covers 270 degrees around the unit and can detect objects up to 20 meters away.
With the increasing adoption of smart factories, the industrial applications of safety laser scanners are also rising. According to a report by Allied Market Research, the global market for safety laser scanners was worth nearly $450 million in 2021 and is expected to be worth about $850 million by 2031.
Industrial Applications of Safety Laser Scanners
Safety laser scanners are widely used in various industrial applications. The major industrial applications include machine guarding, mobile vehicle automation, and intralogistics. In this article, we will explore these three major industrial applications of safety laser scanners, explain how they work, and discuss their benefits.
1. Machine Guarding
Safety laser scanners help with machine guarding as they keep workers safe by detecting their presence in dangerous work areas or points on machines. They can scan a large area with a 270-degree angle and create customizable detection zones that, if breached, will make the machine stop.
Safety laser scanners protect machines such as tube benders, press brakes, and robotic cells. They can also monitor machine access points and doors to prevent unauthorized entry.
2. Mobile Vehicle Automation
Safety laser scanners prevent collisions and help with area monitoring for automated guided vehicles (AGVs) or mobile robots. They can scan the surroundings of these vehicles or robots and detect any people or obstacles that may obstruct their movement.
Safety laser scanners also provide data for the navigation and positioning of these vehicles or robots. They can be configured to create different protective and warning fields depending on the speed, direction, and shape of the vehicle or robot.
Intralogistics involves the processes and activities necessary for managing, optimizing, and automating the internal flow of materials, goods, and information within a warehouse or a production facility.
Safety laser scanners play a crucial role in intralogistics by providing safe and efficient area monitoring and collision prevention for AGVs or mobile robots that move materials or goods within the facility.
Get Quality Safety Laser Scanners from Hokuyo
Safety laser scanners are essential to Industry 4.0 and modern safety solutions. They are made to meet the standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and other international safety standards.
At Hokuyo, we offer high-quality safety laser scanners for various industrial applications. We also offer a wide range of accessories and after-sales support to make setting up and using our products easy.
Contact us to learn more about how our safety laser scanners can help keep your staff safe and productive.