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SICK UK has extended the capabilities of its optical linear measurement sensor portfolio with the OLM200 for high-performance materials handling applications.

The positioning sensor, which delivers increased accuracy, speed and repeatability, uses a barcode tape to provide non-contact linear positioning on both curved and straight tracks.

The sensor continually reads up to three barcodes to build an absolute positional value, ensuring optimal performance even if a barcode is missing or damaged.

The sensor, which is supported by additional plant control system connectivity, has operating speeds of up to 10m/s, with non-contact linear positioning to 0.15mm, for greater repeatability and positional accuracy, enabling better space utilisation in automated picking lines.

The increased speed of the OLM200 can be utilised to achieve increased volume throughput, making it suitable for use with applications such as rail-mounted shuttles, overhead conveyors, rotary tables, turntables, slewing rings hoisting systems and robots, commonly used in the automotive, textile and film industries.

A Profibus DP interface enables connection to more complex distributed control systems.

As well as diagnostic information, both position and speed can be communicated, enabling enhanced system control.

Darren Pratt, distance sensor product specialist, SICK, said: ‘The OLM200 illuminates the barcode using a red LED, then a CMOS array reads the illuminated barcode.

‘Without moving parts, such as the mirrors used in conventional barcode scanners, the read head is highly reliable even when mounted on a machine subject to high levels of vibration and shock.

‘As no laser is required for the unit, there are no classification issues.

‘In addition, the LED illumination has a life expectancy of almost twice the length of a good quality laser diode.

‘You can expect to get 100,000 hours of use from the OLM200, as opposed to the average 50,000 hours expected from a laser diode,’ he added.

The OLM200 is designed for maximum performance and availability.

Its high-resolution measurement and high output rate enables precise and fast positioning, while Speedcon connectors allow rapid device installation.

The system has a rugged metal housing for the sensor and a 100 micron thick durable polyester material for the barcode tape, which has a tear strength of 150N/15mm.

The barcode tape is impervious to most oils, greases, fuels, solvents and weak acids.

The system also accommodates temperature fluctuations between -30C and + 60C, making it suitable for use in extreme temperatures such as cold stores and steel works.

To simplify installation, it is only necessary to install the barcode tape where positional information is required.

In case of damage, replacement barcode tape can be quickly created by downloading and printing the code from the SICK website.

With easy alignment, simple mounting and no need for continuous calibration, the OLM200 saves the end-user both time and money on installation and maintenance, according to SICK.

The optical linear measurement system can be programmed and diagnosed using SICK’s Sopas software.

The introduction of the OLM200 adds Profibus to the multiple output types already available in the OLM range, including SSI, RS422, RS485 and CANopen.

Additional interface options will be added during 2011.


SICK is a global leader in sensors and sensing systems for factory automation, logistics automation and process control. SICK’s comprehensive product portfolio encompasses sensors, encoders, machinery safety, machine vision and auto-identification in use by customers all over the world. Established for over 70 years, SICK products range from simple optical devices through to embedded intelligent systems, ready to meet the needs of Industry 4.0.

SICK sensors: At the heart of automation

SICK is one of the world’s leaders in sensors and sensing technologies for factory automation, logistics automation and process control.

SICK’s comprehensive product portfolio encompasses sensors, encoders, machinery safety, machine vision and auto-identification. The company also provides process instrumentation for gas and fluid flow and for chemical and pollutant detection.

From simple optical sensors and barcode readers to complex safety systems; from machine vision to emissions monitoring, SICK’s intelligent sensor solutions facilitate advanced automation and process control.

SICK products are designed with simplicity of installation and operation in mind. They help customers to achieve greater reliability and productivity, increased production flexibility and more efficient use of resources.

Founded in Germany more than 70 years ago, SICK employs more than 7,400 employees worldwide. The company invests heavily in research and development and is leading the way in smart sensor development to support Industry 4.0 objectives.

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