Crane Sentry System Adds Allen-Bradley Connectivity with Help from Real Time Automation’s 435NBX Gateway

Crane Sentry System Adds Allen-Bradley Connectivity with Help from Real Time Automation’s 435NBX Gateway
Laser-View Technologies wanted to offer reliable, consistent Allen-Bradley PLC Connectivity in its Crane Sentry® Location Manager overhead crane positioning system. As the manu-facturer of the Crane Sentry® product line and authorized distributor of Dimetix laser distance sensors and accessories in the USA, customers had come to love the laser collision monitoring system as a cost effective solution to add semi-autonomous control to their overhead crane and hoist ap-plications. The solution is especially popular since it can ret-rofit into existing applications while utilizing the established drive systems. To meet the Allen-Bradley connectivity re-quests of their customers, Laser-View Technologies knew they had to find a way to interface the ASCII data from the Dimetix laser distance sensor. As Laser-View Technologies sought an answer, Real Time Automation offered a solution.

Serial Data Conversation Search

Dimetix laser
The Crane Sentry® utilizes up to two Dimetix lasers for X and Y axis measurements of bridge and trolley posi-tions. The lasers operate at up to 20 hertz over an RS-232 channel at 19200 baud rate. The measurements from these devices needed to be brought into an Allen-Bradley PLC. Responsiveness and solution availability was also a big con-cern, as Laser-View Technologies is quick-ly growing and needs the ability to imple-ment new systems at ever increasing speeds. Multiple options were consid-ered, including in-rack ASCII modules from Allen-Bradley and the ASCII gateway from ProSoft.

“It came down to this. None of the other solutions matched the value we found with the 435NBX,” said Steven Lubeck, president of Laser-View Technologies. “RTA was always ready with prompt re-sponses, units guaran-teed to be in stock and support beyond our expectation.”

The Perfect Serial ASCII to AB PLC Solution

The 435NBX gateway accepts the position data from both lasers over the two available RS-232 serial channels and delivers the measurement values directly to user de-fined tags in the data table of the Allen-Bradley PLC. There’s no message instruction or IO tree to mess with in the PLC. All the programmer needs to implement is a simple tag length based handshake to integrate the ASCII values.

Real Time Automation’s commitment to guaranteed stock and same-day order fulfillment meant Laser-View Technolo-gies wouldn’t have to worry about lead times that could cripple entire system integrations. “On a complex machine, even the smallest part can cause big headaches,” said Lubeck. “Finding quality vendors like Real Time Automation is paramount to our continued success.”



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