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Ubisense Introduces AngleID to Provide Low-Cost, Real-Time Zone Location

The sensor, the company says, can be set up in 10 minutes and supports five configurable zones for monitoring the locations of objects fitted with Ubisense active tags.
By Claire Swedberg

At a busy intersection within a distribution center, a single AngleID sensor could be installed on the ceiling, with zones drawn out around that intersection. The sensor could detect a forklift vehicle fitted with a Ubisense tag, and the user's network could forward that location data to a PLC or computer installed there. As the vehicle moved from one zone to the next, the system would capture and store that movement. If three-dimensional tracking were required—to detect how high the vehicle's fork is lifted, for example—a second sensor could be installed on a wall.

Similarly, sensors could be installed at dock doors to manage vehicles or containers being moved through those doors. The system could also monitor employees—for instance, identifying how many workers move through a turnstile, as well as when this occurs.

A single AngleID sensor can cover up to a 15,000-square-foot area, and detect when a Ubisense tag enters or exits one of five configurable zones.
The sensor can also assist with automated manufacturing systems. By attaching a Ubisense tag to a turntable, a company could ensure that the turntable is in its proper position, based on the zone in which the tag is located, before the next step of an assembly process begins.

If a crane is delivering a product to a workstation, for instance, a tag on that crane could enable a PLC to identify when the crane has released the product so that the assembly process can then proceed. In a manufacturing area in which only certain tools can be operated with specific products or processes, the system could identify the zone in which every tagged tool is located. If a tool enters a zone in which it does not belong, the AngleID software could trigger an alert by, for instance, lighting up a warning indicator at the PLC.

Jon Heathcote
"The increasing complexity of the manufacturing process is driving a lot of this," Heathcote says. Another key driver, he adds, is the rise in Industry 4.0 initiatives.

The sensor is available in three different enclosures that vary according to IP rating. The IP30 version measures 20 centimeters by 14 centimeters by 6.5 centimeters (8.0 inches by 5.5 inches by 2.6 inches) in size and weighs 625 grams (22 ounces) The IP54 version is 20 centimeters by 14 centimeters by 9.5 centimeters (8.0 inches by 5.5 inches by 3.7 inches) in size and weighs 745 grams (26.5 ounces). And the IP65 version measures 21 centimeters by 14 centimeters by 9.5 centimeters (8.3 inches by 5.5 inches by 3.7 inches) in size and weighs 775 grams (27.5 ounces). Ubisense is now taking orders for the readers with built-in firmware, with first shipments slated to take place on June 1, 2016.

The retail price for the AngleID sensor starts at $4,950 apiece. Ubisense will sell the sensor and tags through such companies as industrial tool providers and RFID systems integrators. According to Cadman, the firm is initially focused on the North American and European markets, with a planned expansion to follow into Japan, China and Korea.

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