Home>Plant & Machinery>Safety Light Curtains>Safety light grids with Bluetooth interface

Safety light grids with Bluetooth interface

05 June 2019

Schmersal Group has introduced the SLC440/COM safety light grid with Bluetooth BLE.

This active optoelectronic protective device makes all status and diagnostic data on the operating status of the device available on smartphones or tablets via a Bluetooth interface on a real-time basis.

The Bluetooth interface supports easy start-up using a smartphone or tablet with the integrated setup aid. There is also the option of saving data, which can then be used, for example, to document a repeat test or for predictive maintenance purposes.

The transmission of data to smartphones / tablets (Android, IOS) is facilitated by an app developed by Schmersal. BLE stands for Bluetooth Low Energy, a radio system for near-field data transmission with secure transmission.

Wide range 

This technology for optoelectronic safety systems is said to be unique with respect to the range over which the data can be communicated. Schmersal Group says that, until now, only diagnostic tools based on NFC technology have been available and that these only offer a range of a few centimetres. The Bluetooth BLE interface can achieve a range of 100 times more at up to 5m.

This means the BLE interface is suitable when the opto-electronic safety system is in a relatively inaccessible position. Bluetooth BLE also offers a greater range of applications because not all smartphones or tablets are equipped with NFC, but most have Bluetooth. As Bluetooth is an international industrial standard, the 440/COM range of light grids with Bluetooth BLE interface can be used all over the world. 

Real time status data

“The SLC440/COM with Bluetooth BLE enable significantly improved efficiency in production processes. As the status data of the light grids can be accessed easily and in real-time, errors can be resolved more quickly to achieve increased machine availability,” explains Klaus Schuster, managing director of Safety Control GmbH, a centre of excellence for opto-electronics and part of the Schmersal Group. This status information and diagnostic data enables processes to be reactivated more quickly, particularly in the event of a system shutdown if a hazard is detected. 

It also represents an economical innovation as, compared to classic Bluetooth, BLE is said to be characterised by lower energy consumption and reduced costs at a similarly high communication range.