Q-Track’s NFER® Proximity Detection System (PDS) provides location awareness and collision avoidance capability for automated equipment like overhead cranes. The system is designed for applications where line-of-sight collision avoidance is not adequate. PDS has been particularly effective for fast moving overhead cranes on a factory floor. Line-of-sight systems can not detect employees around corners, bending over, or hidden behind a pallet. The NFER® PDS enhances worker safety by triggering an alert or automatically shutting down equipment that might be too close.
NFER® PDS operates by using low-frequency, long-wavelength AM band radio waves. These low frequency waves diffract around corners or objects such as pallets. The proximity detection is achieved by utilizing Near Field Electromagnetic Ranging (NFER®) technology.
In a factory environment with a swiftly moving overhead crane, the employees wear NFER® tags that emit a low-frequency, long-wavelength signal. The overhead crane has a NFER® PDS Locator-Receiver that detects the signal and determines its location. In a typical customer application, when the PDS Locator-Receiver determines it is within 3m (10ft) of a worker, the PDS Locator-Receiver sends a message to stop the crane. Once a worker has moved a safe distance awy, the Designed to detect multiple tags simultaneously, the PDS keeps the environment safe despite the number of workers present. Range is adjustable out to a maximum of 15m (50ft) but depends on the RF noise at the installation point on the crane or equipment.
The NFER® PDS Locator-Receiver can work in a variety of other configurations besides overhead cranes. For example, where forklift operators are traveling perpendicular to each other on a collision course, but the pallet-filled racks prevent the operators from seeing each other, or pedestrians, the NFER® PDS can provide an early warning. The NFER® PDS Locator-Receiver integrates easily with automated cranes, forklifts, and other industrial equipment.
The NFER® PDS consists of a NFER® PDS Locator-Receiver for attachment to an overhead crane, forklift, or other moving machinery, and NFER® PDS Tag Transmitters to be provided to team members working in areas where collisions might happen.
For more information, see: “RFID Helps Halt Collisions Between People and Robots,” RFID Journal, May 25, 2012.