Distance Sensor Sets Precision Standard

With the launch of its next-generation DT80 distance sensor, SICK claims to have revised the standard for measurement precision in materials handling, warehousing and logistics with a compact and robust device. Equipped with high-performance time-of-flight measurement technology, the SICK DT80 1D laser distance sensor achieves unparalleled accuracy of +/- 2 mm with a resolution of 0.1 mm at ranges up to 80 metres.

The SICK DT80 laser distance sensor uses a class 2 eye-safe laser to detect, measure and position on natural targets with no reflector. SICK has developed the DT80 with simple commissioning and versatile integration in mind, fitting even the tightest of spaces in both mobile and stationary machinery. With a robust metal housing, the DT80 delivers resilient performance despite challenging environmental conditions, such as mechanical vibrations, strong ambient light or extreme temperatures.

The outstanding precision and range of the SICK DT80 offer broad scope for both stationary and mobile machines, both indoors and outdoors. Typical applications in materials handling, warehousing and logistics include height detection of forklifts in automated transport vehicles, positioning of cranes and gantries.

‘Raising the Bar’ in Distance Sensing

“SICK’s development programme for the DT80 laser distance sensor has perfected our time-of-flight measurement technology and raised the bar in this class of mid- to long-range distance sensing,” explains Nick Hartley, SICK’s UK market product manager for distance measurement. “Achieving the best possible precision and repeatability is a constant challenge for many industrial measuring and positioning tasks.

“When engineers can trust the DT80’s repeatable performance, their mobile transport vehicles can operate without interruption and the need for adjustments. Accurate measurement is equally critical in diverse machine operations to ensure product and process quality. Ensuring minimal deviations reduces rejects, saves waste and reduces scrap.”

Simple Set-Up and Commissioning

The DT80 will accurately detect an object that has up to 90% remission at a distance of 80 metres. For objects with extremely dark surfaces and only 6% remission, it still achieves an impressive range of 14 metres. The SICK DT80 can be configured in a variety of combinations of distance and remission, helping to streamline inventories and make servicing more efficient. Setting up the DT80 is quick and easy using the icon-supported colour display. Four on-sensor LEDs also show the sensor’s current status and settings. Alternatively, the DT80 can be configured using HTML-based SOPAS engineering tool or using IO-Link.

Industry 4.0 IO-Link Connectivity

As well as enabling easy configuration, the DT80’s IO-Link connectivity enables data to be transferred and exchanged between sensors, actuators and OT control systems. Using an IO-Link-Master with OPC UA, data from the DT80 can be exported into on-premise and cloud-based analytics and remote diagnostics software, e.g. for condition monitoring.

At only 65 mm x 33 mm x 57 mm (HxWxD), the SICK DT80 is one of the most compact laser distance sensors on the market. Its cast zinc housing, durable PMMA sensor window, IP65 and IP67 protection and high shock and vibration resistance, ensure it operates reliably under the harshest industrial and environmental conditions. Since its housing and connectivity concept mirror SICK’s other DT distance sensors, users can easily upgrade to the SICK DT80 to take advantage of its greater precision and range.

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