Automotive and parts supplier | Protecting

28. February 2014

Perfectly networked with PROFINET IO: Hazardous area protection in car body construction

When protecting hazardous areas of robot work cells and assembly lines in car body construction, the S3000 safety laser scanners from SICK with integrated PROFINET IO interface are the preferred choice.


Safety laser scanners of the S3000 product family from SICK are established as a standard at BMW, being used at the worldwide locations. In terms of body construction technology, all of the robot and drive systems both in Regensburg and in Munich are equipped with PROFINET and at these locations alone about 9,000 PROFINET devices are integrated into the network in each plant. Therefore, it appeared obvious to work with PROFINET IO in the area of sensor technology as well and to use the S3000 safety laser scanners from SICK with integrated PROFINET IO interface.



Hazardous area protection with S3000 PROFINET IO

What benefit does BMW derive from integrating safety laser scanners in PROFINET IO?

In Regensburg, a large number of laser scanners are used in body construction, among other things as point-of-operation guarding in welding robot cells. The utility aspects that BMW derives from direct integration of the S3000 PROFINET IO safety laser scanners into the production network are diverse. To begin with, one can mention complete and continuous integration of the field devices. There is no longer any need for switching modules and sub-distributors, as the S3000 PROFINET IOs feature two integrated RJ45 ports with switching functionality. Another benefit is the significantly reduced cabling effort. The entire data transmission takes place via one medium within the same physical network. In plant operation, the safety laser scanners with PROFINET interface support BMW’s central plant operation concept in an optimum way. Since configuration is possible from a central operating computer, the entire commissioning proceeds faster and easier.

Remote diagnosis is possible at any time



For the availability and productivity of the plants, it is of crucial importance that in case of diagnosis, maintenance and malfunction, one can communicate directly with the sensor in the field. Since all of the sensors’ status data can be retrieved via the central automation system, remote diagnosis is possible at any time. PROFINET integration of the safety laser scanners from SICK also allows integrating the sensors into arrangements for preventive maintenance.
Finally, the safety laser scanner is protected from manipulations. For this purpose, the sensor transmits its safety configuration ID (SCID) to the host computer by
means of a check sum, which makes it possible to recognize and trace any modification of the field device that was not authorized.

Significant saving potentials

There is no need to buy any of these benefits at excess cost – on the contrary. If one compares the cost for additional hardware, mechanical and electrical installation, commissioning, testing, diagnosis, and retrofitting the robot work cell in the case of a classic installation of a safety laser scanner with the cost of an S3000 PROFINET installation, the result may be significant savings potentials.



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