04/18/2005 • Sensor Technology

DME 5000 – the first distance measuring device with a Hiperface interface

SICK is presenting the DME 5000, the world's first laser distance measuring device with a Hiperface interface (short for: high-performance interface) at the Hanover Industrial Trade Fair. It allows bi-directional communication between the DME 5000 and actuators or automation systems that also possess this interface. The characteristics of the distance measuring device, and commissioning data, can be transferred via the Hiperface, and programming information such as resolution or the measurement range can be stored and called up. SSI input cards are no longer necessary. The new connection compatibility between absolute encoders and the distance measuring device now allows users with identical system interfaces to exploit the positioning system that best fits their application, for example in handling and warehousing systems.

Laser distance measuring systems like the DME 5000 are mainly used for determining the position of high-bay stackers in automated warehouse systems and for crane control. The sensor travels with the mobile unit and continuously measures the time-of-flight of an emitted light pulse to the end of a drive path and back. The electronics determine the position of the high-bay stacker or crane from this data, and transmit it to the higher-ranking controller. In addition to the new version for crane applications, the DME 5000 is also available in two further storage-oriented versions in order to meet differing requirements. They are designed for the special pallet demands found in automatic small-parts stores or high-bay warehouses. All systems offer hitherto unparalleled measurement dynamics and accuracy.

Hiperface – the patented standard interface in position determination

Hiperface is an asynchronous half-duplex interface that physically corresponds to the EIA RS 485 specification. It was originally developed for absolute encoders and motor feedback systems in drive technology, and is now used by more than 70 drive producers, having become established on the market as a standard. The power supply for the distance measuring device is provided via two of the eight wires. Two further wires are required for the bi-directional, bus-enabled parameter channel via which, among other things, digitised absolute positional data is transmitted to the controller. The two remaining pairs of wires are for the real-time process data channel. Sinus-shaped analogue signals are transmitted via these and interpolated in the controller. This non-digital process allows a high resolution to be achieved.
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