Until now, functional safety technology in automation has mostly been implemented separately from the field buses and the Ethernet networks. But the next generation of microScan3 establishes new standards: The microScan3 Core – Ethernet/IP™ is the first safety laser scanner on the market to offer CIP Safety™ on Ethernet/IP™ and is compatible with all CIP Safety™ Ethernet/IP™ controllers currently in use. The microScan3 Core – PROFINET allows for safe and reliable bus communication using the PROFIsafe protocol. The PROFINET IO bus connection is used to process all the signals from the higher-level controller (programmable logic controller with integrated security).

The integration of safety features into the network makes it possible to share safety signals and unsecured process data on the same network. This opens up new possibilities, such as the visualization and transmission of status information to higher-level ERP and MES data systems.

Centralized access options for simple diagnosis and maintenance

Both network variants can protect multiple hazardous areas at the same time and supply up to four simultaneous protective fields that allow several conventional I/O scanners to manage the work. This means that these laser scanners help reduce purchase costs while increasing productivity. The integration into the existing safety controllers meets current safety standards and is simple. The new variants also help users save a great deal of time, because the devices can be configured incredibly quickly and easily on the network. As an added advantage, the safety laser scanners are protected against tampering. To do this, the sensor transmits a control copy of the security configuration to the control computer, which makes it possible to detect and trace any unauthorized modification made to the laser scanner on the ground.

Because the configuration can be done from a central computer, the entire startup process is faster and easier. The same goes for the operation and maintenance of the sensors. Since all the data is stored in a central location, anyone accessing it will always receive the most recent version, which guarantees the integrity of the data.

Diagnostic data available everywhere

The possibilities of using a multitude of data to produce and supply goods in a more efficient and flexible way — while saving resources and improving quality — ultimately depends on the soundness and reliability of the data that represents the process chain. They therefore also depend on the sensors that detect the real conditions and convert them into digital signals. Even in its most basic version, the microScan3 safety laser scanner establishes new standards of soundness and reliability thanks to the innovative safeHDDM technology. With the network variants for a safe and direct integration into the field buses, it’s also possible to integrate sensor data into preventive maintenance concepts, among others. For example, the information provided by the sensor regarding the level of contamination on the frontal screen is automatically transmitted to the automation system — sufficiently in advance to prevent any potential negative impacts on performance or a safety-related plant shutdown. If any problems occur in the system despite this feature, all the errors that have occurred can be quickly identified and analyzed from a central location. This means that rapid response times are possible, which reduces potential downtime to a minimum. It would be a shame if all this data weren’t available on one network…