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TÜV Rheinland: First-ever Certification of a Safety Laser Scanner for Outdoor Use as per TS 62998


Photo: VanderWolf Images/Shutterstock

In a world first, TÜV Rheinland has certified a safety laser scanner for outdoor use as per IEC TS 62998. This globally recognized standard applies to safety-related sensors on machinery designed to protect people. The safety laser scanner “outdoorScan3” from SICK protects people from injury. If the sensor detects the presence of a person in the hazard zone of a machine, it responds by stopping the machine. The safety laser scanner, which is certified for outdoor use, is deployed in stationary applications, automated passenger airbridges and driverless transport vehicles operated on factory premises.

New test basis for outdoor applications

Until now it used to be the case that safety laser scanners could only be certified for indoor use – e.g. for machinery operated inside production halls. “When safety laser scanners are used outdoors, the sensors also have to function reliably even in adverse weather conditions such as fog, rain or snow,” says Peter Robben, an expert in Functional Safety at TÜV Rheinland. Until now, there was no easy way for manufacturers to demonstrate this. “Over the course of several years of collaboration with the International Electrotechnical Commission, our customers, suppliers and testing companies – including TÜV Rheinland – we have established a test basis for certifying these scanners for outdoor use too,” says Michael Badeja, product manager at SICK. The result of this work and the basis for certification of “outdoorScan3” is the new globally recognized standard IEC TS 62998.

Safety defined

Until now, many solutions for automated vehicles operated outdoors were implemented in a non-safe manner. “This new standard represents a real improvement when it comes to protecting people in hazard zones,” says Robben. Manufacturers can now have their products certified accordingly, thereby demonstrating that their safety laser scanners also function reliably outdoors in accordance with the current state of the art – and protect lives in the process.

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