As a sensor supplier for major manufacturers throughout the United States, SICK, Inc. has local United States production capabilities that enables us to better serve our customers to keep the supply chain moving. SICK produces materials in a close-to-the-market fashion, with a regional focus. In the United States, SICK has positioned production sites in each region to meet the demand from customers in each region.
The production facility in Minneapolis, Minn. is one of the main production sites for a wide variety of SICK products, which now includes the flagship light curtain line, deTec4. As the North American manufacturer of this product, SICK, Inc. produces these devices each year for markets in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Our global headquarters in Waldkirch, Germany is still the main global supplier of these products, but the local production enables SICK to respond faster to growing demands customers are facing.
Taking Safety to the Next Level with deTec4
To protect personnel from automated machinery, opto-electric protective devices, such as safety light curtains, can be used. Primarily, the light curtains will provide point of operation, area, and access protection to ensure the safety of people and machines. They can also be used for automation tasks such as measuring and detection.
The deTec4 safety light curtain line can be used in many different applications. For example, in entry/exit applications, safety light curtains can be used without the need for muting sensors that temporarily deactivate the protective function on a safety device. Horizontally arranged safety light curtains are applied near the doorway. When objects enter or exit a hazardous location, safety light curtains are able to actively differentiate between a person and a machine. Using pattern recognition to identify unique interruptions, like a person’s legs versus a pallet carrier, safety light curtains help safely move materials into safeguarded areas. Without the need of muting sensors, there is less mechanical mounting efforts and less wiring needed.
In addition, one of the biggest technological advancements featured in safety light curtains is IO-Link. IO-Link is a point-to-point serial communication protocol used to communicate with sensors and actuators. IO-Link collects service data, process data, and event data. Service data is information that is relative to the device itself, not to the device’s function. Process data is information on what the sensor is reading, such as temperature or distance. Event data is the notifications or flags indicating, for example, a dirty lens, an error, or communication loss to a sensor.
Additional Production Capabilities
In addition to the deTec4, the Minneapolis facility also produces zone control modules for roller conveyors, various photoelectric sensors, fiber optic sensor heads, encoders, and sensor brackets, reflectors, and other assorted accessories.
Along with the production of SICK products, US production facilities also have the capabilities to create customizations for individual customers. This means SICK can customize products created in the United States and also make local alterations to any products made worldwide.
With a growing need for greater flexibility in the supply chain, SICK’s local production capabilities enable us to react more nimbly to our customer’s needs and have the inventory needed to meet demands. In the near future, the Minneapolis production facility will also be expanding to accommodate this greater need for local production.
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