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Design for a proximity warning and emergency stop device for industrial order-picker vehicles

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000005647D
Publication Date: 2001-Oct-23
Document File: 5 page(s) / 2M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a design for a proximity warning and emergency stop device for industrial order-picker vehicles.

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Design for a proximity warning and emergency stop device for industrial order-picker vehicles

Disclosed is a design for a proximity warning and emergency stop device for industrial order-picker vehicles.

              The disclosed design is intended to protect personnel and property by stopping the recurrence of vehicle collisions by eliminating human factors from the process. No conventional solution is available for this common problem.  This design utilizes off-the-shelf industrial components and custom PLC programming.

Detailed description

      The disclosed design consists of three primary modules:  the sensor module, the logic module, and the operator interface (see Figure 1). The sensor module is mounted on the frame of the order-picker truck and consists of a steel housing containing a one-piece, photoelectric proximity sensor and a reflector.  The photoelectric sensor is designed to emit a beam of light and output an electrical signal when the strength of the reflected beam matches either of two calibrated distances.  The steel housing fully surrounds the photoelectric sensor, to protect it from impact.  The back of the mounting bracket provides a mounting surface for the reflector.  The sensor/reflector combination (see Figure 2) is immune to false triggering from ambient light.

      The logic module (see Figure 3) is mounted on the cab of the order-picker truck and contains a programmable logic controller (PLC) the PLC interprets signals from the photoelectric sensor and, depending on conditions, allows normal vehicle operation, emits a warning to the operator, or shuts down the vehicle to prevent a collision.

      The operator interface (see Figure 4) consists of indicator lamps and an audible annunciator to communicate vehicle proximity status to the operator.  An override switch allows the operator to silence the audible annunciator for a preset time.

      Operation of this device begins when an operator prepares to enter a storage aisle by activating the vehicle’s guidance system, simultaneously powering on the photoelectric sensor.  If another vehicle is present in the aisle, the light beam will strike the other vehicle’s reflector and is returned, read and evaluated by the sensor (see Figure 5).

      There are three modes of operation:...