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‘First’ touchscreen swipe sensor works like a smartphone

28 February, 2024

The German sensor-maker Sick has unveiled what it claims in the world’s first photoelectric proximity sensor with a touchscreen display. The W10 sensor’s swipe-up touchscreen technology, combined with simple icons, makes set-up and teach-in “intuitive”, the comopny says.

The sensor’s settings are pre-configured for rapid installation with common functions, such as background or foreground suppression, available from a single device.

The W10 is suitable for presence and leading-edge detection duties, even with highly reflective, dark or uneven surfaces. It can be used, for example, for level detection in bowl feeders, or presence detection of components with irregular shapes or heights, even if they have shiny metal surfaces. The sensor uses intelligent onboard algorithms to achieve high repeatability.

“For the first time, it’s exciting to operate a sensor that feels as natural to use as a mobile phone,” explains Sick UK’s presence detection product manager, David Hannaby. “The touchscreen display is revolutionary. Just swipe up, select and configure. The W10 guides you effortlessly through the operating modes needed for any installation from the very big to the very small.

“With just four product variants, choosing the sensor you need for your application has never been more straightforward,” he adds. “The W10 turns the headache of having to select and stock perhaps hundreds of different spares into a single part number.”

The sensor is based on the laser triangulation detection principle. Accurate, reliable operation is assured by a focused beam that produces a small light spot, in combination with a precise evaluation receiver. There is a short-range version with a working distance of 20–400mm, as well as a long-range version with a range from 20–700mm. Reliable switching is assured at high speeds with a response time of 1.5ms in speed mode.

With an IP69K-protected stainless-steel housing and an eye-safe Class One visible red laser, the sensor has built-in modes for standard, high-speed or precision operation. It is resilient to harsh washdown environments.

Sick’s touchscreen sensor is quick and easy to set up

A screen-locking function and access restrictions can be set up to prevent unwanted changes to the sensor settings. Single-value teach-in enables rapid configuration at a defined distance, while two-value teach-in enables objects of different heights to be detected without increasing the risk of errors. A manual mode extends the options for increased flexibility.

The W10 incorporates IO-Link, allowing the sensor data can be shared with Industry 4.0 IoT systems, for applications such as machine diagnostics and troubleshooting, as well as for edge configurations. IO-link also offers the option of remote set-up and easy device replacement.

Both the short- and long-range versions of the W10 are available with two mounting options: a 1-inch hole; or an M18 thread on the front with a 1-inch hole at the side for hybrid installations. A male M12 4-pin connector is standard, with push-pull and PNP/NPN switching outputs also being available.

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