Pepperl+Fuchs recently introduced the PosiTrack PCV Data Matrix Positioning System. This 2-D, camera-based position feedback system uses data matrix technology to solve numerous linear feedback applications common to automated storage and retrieval systems, overhead monorails, lifts and rotary turntables. The PosiTrack PCV system is capable of fast read speeds to 41ft/s, and the high data density of the 2-D code square allows continuous reading over distances up to six miles.
"The use of data matrix codes in industrial environments is increasingly commonplace. Their small size, large data capacity and excellent readability, even when large segments of the symbol have been lost or destroyed, provide secure and reliable performance in the areas of production, identification, inventory, and sorting and handling to name just a few," says Marcel Ulrich, product manager.
To date, data matrix codes have predominantly been utilized for read-and-react, single-step processes. For example, verifying that a pallet passed a specific production point, or that a code-stamped package has been shipped. Pepperl+Fuchs' expertise in 2-D camera technology recently expanded the scope of data matrix applications from incremental processes to continuous tracking and positioning.
"The new PosiTrack PCV system provides a powerful X-Y position feedback tool for automated storage and retrieval machinery, while the technology's ability to follow curved paths makes it ideally suited for monitoring and controlling overhead monorails. RS-485 and SSI control outputs insure compatibility with many common industrial PLCs and motor drives," explains Ulrich.
Thin strips of adhesive-backed data matrix codes placed along a carrier's travel path continuously update its movement with +/- 0.1mm resolution. Unlike rotary encoders whose position feedback principle is contact-based, the PosiTrack PCV's "touch-free" optic technology means years of wear-free, low maintenance operation. If a code strip does become damaged, Pepperl+Fuchs offers on-line, web-based software tools that allow a user to quickly generate and print replacement code sections.
Scanner-to-code band separation up to 80mm is typical. A +/- 15mm axial movement tolerance means the random alignment variances that are common with carrier/track installations have no affect on the PosiTrack PCV system's stability.