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SICK Sensors

An increasingly automated world requires sensors for computerized systems to interact with the physical world. SICK AG is a German-based international company that manufactures a wide range of sensors for industrial, security, and safety applications. This product category offers photoelectric sensors, pressure switches, laser scanners, and other environment-sensing solutions produced by SICK AG.

What is a laser scanner?

Sick manufactures both laser scanners and laser barcode scanners, and while both employ lasers for scanning, their uses are very different. A laser bar code scanner scans barcode identifier labels, while a laser scanner is used for scanning the overall physical environment.

Basically, a laser scanner (also known as lidar) is the light-wave equivalent of radar. A laser beam is bounced against an object to determine its distance. The beam sweeps vertically and horizontally to scan an entire area, which provides the data for a computer to determine the shape of three-dimensional objects within the field of scanning.

Because it can provide information for navigating a physical environment, laser scanning has sensor solutions in robotics and self-driving vehicles. SICK manufactures laser scanners for these applications and also for facility perimeter security. In perimeter security solutions, a laser scanner identifies the presence of an intruder to enable a video camera to track the movement of the intruder through the secure area. The laser scanner not only identifies motion in its scanning field, but it also tracks the location of the moving object, enabling security to intercept the intruder.

What are some sensor solutions for factory automation?

SICK photoelectric sensors serve in security and safety roles as they can detect when an object blocks a beam of light, which provides for the location of products on an assembly line and the automatic opening and closing of doors for vehicles and personnel. SICK color sensors can be used for quality control, such as assuring that food has not spoiled or that a container is not leaking. SICK barcode scanners are used in factory and warehouse solutions for inventory tracking purposes. SICK magnetic positioning sensors enable machines to locate their positions within an automated environment.

What is the purpose of a pressure switch?

Industrial applications may require adjustment of pressure within an enclosed space, such as a vacuum chamber, boiler, or vat. Pressure switch sensors measure the interior pressure and interface with automation systems. SICK pressure sensors have pressure set points and report this data to automated systems. Pressure switch set points determine at which pressure the switch actuates and de-actuates to sound alarms, open valves, or other actions involving the safety of workers and equipment.

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