Partnership develop small LiDAR safety laser scanner

25th June 2021
Alex Lynn

Maxim Integrated Products has announced that its software-configurable digital IO products helped enable a 50% size reduction for the microScan3 Core I/O LiDAR safety laser scanner from SICK AG, a leader in the design and manufacturing of industrial sensor-based solutions. Achieving this small design allows SICK to expand the versatility of the new nanoScan3 Safety Laser Scanner for machines and vehicles that require high performance but have minimal mounting space.

Maxim and SICK designers worked side-by-side to optimise the new scanner design by replacing several discrete components with a combination of the MAX14914 software configurable digital IO and the MAX22191 parasitic powered digital input along with other Maxim ICs to achieve the two times reduction in size compared between the microScan3 Core I/O and the new nanoScan3. The results are inspiring as the nanoScan3 boasts an overall height of just eight centimeters.

Due to its size reduction, the nanoScan3 now has enhanced versatility and mounting flexibility on various autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs), mobile platforms and robots, allowing them to navigate safely within space-constrained areas of warehouses and storage facilities.

“The new nanoScan3 with its ultra-compact profile can now be used under transporting palettes to safely carry payloads which would not have been possible before,” said Christian Matt, Development Engineer at SICK. “By reducing the size to 106.6mm in length, 117.5mm in width and 80mm in height, the nanoScan3 is opening new potential applications where space is highly critical. Working with Maxim’s team to redesign our sensors with digital IO technology was beneficial for our company in helping us achieve our goals.”

SICK’s nanoScan3 incorporates the MAX14914 software configurable digital IO, which allowed system designers to reduce the number of components from six discrete components plus peripherals into one IC. The MAX22191 single channel, parasitically powered digital input with accurate input current limiters also helped to achieve the size reduction.  

Behind the size reduction

This combination of Maxim’s Digital IO and power solution technology supported SICK to achieve lower power consumption in the nanoScan3 design and provide their end customers the ability to individually configure the IO function of the safety LiDAR sensor.

“Our work with SICK to achieve the new nanoScan3 safety LiDAR sensor platform reinforces the benefits of teamwork. The adoption of our MAX14914 software configurable digital IO technology coupled with other design efforts validates Maxim's performance benefits that lead to this amazing size reduction and enhanced performance capabilities,” said Jeff DeAngelis, Vice President, Industrial Communications for the Industrial and Healthcare Business Unit at Maxim Integrated.

“Designers of industrial equipment continue to adopt Maxim's software configurable digital IOs, IO-Link and motion control solutions to achieve configuration flexibility, reduce commissioning times, as well as realise smaller size and benefit by saving power. Maxim remains committed to delivering industrial automation solutions to help unlock new performance benefits that advance AGV platforms and empower a new class of smart sensors and actuators as seen by SICK’s new nanoScan3 safety LiDAR sensor platform.”

Further innovations and improvements in nanoScan3 came through incorporating the MAX22191 parasitically powered digital input, the MAX22505 USB port protector, the MAX17503 first-rail DC-DC converter and the MAX17545 second-rail DC-DC converter.

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