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Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

How Intelligent Is Your Light Grid?

Posted by Michael Turner on Tue, Nov 20, 2012

After a recent altercation with an older, legacy light grid, perhaps the better question is: How intelligent are you?

Intelligent Light Grids and You
The term altercation is not something I would typically use to describe an encounter between a human and a machine, but after spending a good portion of the day trying to configure this product, I feel it’s merited. 

Several times during the programming process, I began to question my initial motives and whether my persistence would be enough to accomplish the task. Patience at the brink, frustration and fatigue exchanging blows with sheer will and determination, emotional stability wavering…

Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit. But honestly, most advanced light grids on the market today rely on an incredibly unintuitive user interface for programming and configuration. Speaking candidly, it takes way too much time and energy to get it done.

The reason for my obvious negativity is as follows:

After you’re done familiarizing yourself with the operating manual, you’ll need a PC, a special programming cable, a USB adapter for the programming cable (who has a COM port these days?), and a copy of the proprietary PC software necessary for programming the light grid. Once you’ve made it this far, you’re about halfway there. You’ll then need to become fluent in function configuration, so be sure to read the operating instructions a few more times if necessary.

Function configuration consists of assembling a slew of unintelligible acronyms that represent made-up words. Different combinations of acronyms and “pretend words” will produce different logical functions. Having trouble with the BBH or CLBB function? Sounds like a personal problem, right?

Why must it be this difficult? At what point did we accept that this is the way it must be done and we are to live with the shortcomings? Have we assumed that this is as good as it gets? Or has technology evolved to such an extent that our perceptions are overtly skewed, leaving us with inflated expectations?

I suppose in retrospect, it’s only after we have been introduced to simpler, more efficient ways of doing things, we begin to question the traditional approach. Enter LGS Series Intelligent Light Grids:

Contrary to what you may have been told, not all light grids are created equal. LGS light grids can be programmed using a capacitive touch field located on the receiver, and no PC software is required. In fact, LGS Series is the first sensor in its class to enable programming and configuration utilizing a modern capacitive touch screen. Press the menu button (arrow symbol) to cycle through the various function icons. Press the okay button (check mark symbol) to enable or disable the function. Simple as that!

LGS Series intelligent light gridLGS series is the ideal solution for applications ranging from the simple to the complex. Examples of relatively simple applications include monitoring an area for falling objects, ejection control, and the detection of parts as small as 4 mm.

Examples of more advanced applications include overhang detection or web sag and height monitoring. Using the integrated height monitoring function, up to three levels of control can be set with the touch field. More complex application examples include object or hole profiling, where objects cannot only be detected but also identified using the integrated object identification function. In any of these applications, programming and detection is accomplished quickly and easily without requiring a PC and without using software.

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Topics: Light Grids, Troubleshooting

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