SICK’s broad portfolio of Auto- Identification products and solutions in warehousing and logistics got noticed all over IMHX this year – and not just on the company’s own stand.
“SICK sensors were very easy to spot installed to support demonstrations of warehousing systems and Automated Guided Vehicles on many other stands all over IMHX. So, it was a great platform for us to demonstrate the diversity of our solutions,” said Mark Harris, SICK’s UK Systems and Auto- Ident product manager.
“We were able to show that no one technology fits all: Be it laser scanner, image-based code reader or RFID, the best technology should be selected to suit the application or a hybrid solution may even be best.”
New RFID Device
At the show, SICK was launched its RFU650, a long-range read/write RFID device that delivers compact, stand-alone RFID identification and traceability without requiring complex programming or separate external antennae.
The RFU650 offers a rugged and affordable device with a typical sensing range of up to five metres that can distinguish accurately between transponder tags on assembly parts, goods or packages, even when they are moving in opposite directions.
For the first time, direction of entry and movement, as well as the position and angle of [partassembled vehicles] [product assemblies, goods and packages]can be reliably detected in [an automated factory, goods handling or logistics environment] with standards-compliant communication in real time to the factory fieldbus and DCS system. Explains Mark Harris: “The performance of conventional RFID systems over long distances is limited by the sender power, aperture angle, tag properties, and application environment. Until now, directions of movement could only be derived by using additional, external antennae and specialist algorithms.
“So, in applications such as warehousing, distribution and logistics, the SICK RFU650 solves the problem of accurate tracking of individual packages, bins, stillages or pallets without the need for complex and costly RFID sensing portals with multiple antennae and shielding to read, record and write data. The RFU650 delivers essential data, even at intersections, and multi-unit assembly points or where several products are being carried on vehicles.
“Position sensing, passage, angles of up to +/- 45° and direction detection are all standard features thanks to the RFU650’s integral advanced algorithms. This avoids the need for additional software and hardware to obtain accurate information on product progress through the plant or warehouse. The software even allows static tagged objects to be filtered out.”
The built-in technology of the RFU650 also makes it easy for integrators or OEMs to link the RFU650 into factory and warehouse networks. With SICK’s proprietary 4Dpro connectivity, the RFU650 communicates with all common industrial fieldbuses and is compatible with other SICK RFID read/write devices, making it highly flexible as part of an upgraded or enhanced installation for improved tracking and control. Additional software functions can be programmed in the SICK software environment and integrated into the device to via the SICK APPSpace platform.
The durable IP67 enclosure rating enables the RFU650 to be used in rugged environments and external locations. The RFU650 conforms to ISO/IEC 18000-63, meeting requirements for data integrity and quality.
Different options for parameter cloning between systems (e.g. the integrated microSD memory card feature) reduce maintenance time. The integrated feedback LED can be used to read diagnostic or process feedback.
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