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Sick Touts SensorApps Without Coding Skills

June 29, 2020

SICK has now developed the SICK IntegrationSpace to supplement the SICK AppSpace. The SICK IntegrationSpace is where users can find all of the digital services offered by SICK.

Companies in production and logistics no longer have to ask whether they should digitalize their processes and implement Industry 4.0 concepts, but rather with which partner to do it and how to smoothly integrate the new approaches. With its new digital portfolio of sensor applications, SICK is providing solutions for mastering the coming challenges in digitalization. “In the last few years, we have worked hard to considerably simplify the use of data acquired by sensors. Many sensor solutions have been created that make it possible to increase the efficiency of system and process operation,” says Christoph Müller, Senior Vice President Product Management at SICK AG.

Digital integration for sensor-based applications

SICK combines sensor intelligence with in-depth industry and application knowledge and offers an extensive portfolio of solutions. In doing so, the company is breaking new ground in sensor-based applications. SICK’s offerings have been bundled into two brands: the SICK AppSpace and the SICK IntegrationSpace. The digital offering is based on the broad application know-how of SICK and makes it easy to vertically integrate data from the sensor right through to the cloud. This is achieved using flexible data structures, and by providing valuable information and knowledge through digital services and expert advice, thereby enabling users to optimally master their challenges using I4.0 approaches.

SICK AppSpace opens doors

In the SICK AppSpace eco-system, programmable sensors and edge devices can be configured for new tasks using SensorApps. Many apps are already available for download via the SICK AppPool. Until now, basic programming skills were required to generate your own SensorApps in SICK AppStudio. Thanks to a new graphical interface in SICK AppStudio, users can now solve specific sensor applications even without programming skills by configuring and linking pre-defined function blocks in a data flow. SICK is thereby opening up the SICK AppSpace to a larger user group and increasing the availability of current and new sensor applications.

Starting at the end of the year, this will all be possible in the SICK AppStudio, part of the SICK AppSpace eco-system.

“Automation concepts are rarely standard”, explains Dr. Timo Mennle, SICK AppSpace Strategic Product Manager at SICK AG. Even if you are supposedly dealing with a standard problem, additional configuration and customization work is required for many projects. These are details that could quickly result in higher costs and delays during installation. SICK customers can create their own individualized SensorApps to solve individual sensor applications — without having to program anything.

“By graphically processing data flows, we create the foundation for a larger target and user group. Then more users can take advantage of this for their applications”, says Mennle. The rising demand for new and adapted function blocks can be satisfied from our growing community of developers. The diversity and possibilities of the SICK AppPool are growing, as are the fields of application of sensors and sensor systems.

Fast solutions when they are required

Especially when fast solutions are required, the SICK AppSpace with its portfolio of functions really hits the mark and demonstrates its strengths. For example, in response to current events SICK has been able to connect hardware with new SensorApps for the purposes of slowing the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The PeopleCounter and DistanceGuard apps integrated into 2D and 3D LiDAR sensors from SICK are helping people adhere to the social distancing requirement in public and predefined spaces. Since the sensor solutions do not process any personal information, they enable companies to adhere not only to the requisite hygiene but also data privacy requirements. Operators of institutions of public life as well as those that deal in tourism, gastronomy, retail and various other industries can profit from a simple solution for easily keeping the maximum utilization of space and the minimum distance between people in view.

SICK Integration Space creates transparency and improves business processes

“Today, customers come to us with problems which have nothing to do with classical automation engineering dealing with sensor systems, logic and actuator engineering,” explains Christoph Müller. “Instead, they want to make business processes much more efficient. So the sensor gathers data which helps solve the problem and brings it to the data level,” says Müller.

The SICK Integration Space platform makes it possible to access the virtual representation of the sensor and its data. SICK is thereby opening up a new dimension in the world of sensors. In this dimension, the data from the sensors are integrated into intelligent digital services. The possibilities that this offers can be tailored to the individual customer as these digital services based on SICK AssetHub and SICK LiveConnect are continuously further developed. The transparency gained from the sensor data provides a basis for further optimizing business processes. The SICK Integration Space platform offers the customer a simple and independent means of administering and booking digital services.

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