Proximity detection systems are tools used by a range of industries. The purpose of these tools is to ensure safety and accident prevention. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) emphasizes the importance of standardized training and safety strategies to avoid accidents. This is especially so in environments where heavy machinery, like forklifts, is present. Choosing the right proximity detection system is pivotal for enhancing safety and efficiency in a facility.
Likewise, this article will compare two prominent systems, HIT-NOT® and LIDAR. It will shed some light on five key differences to guide you in determining the most suitable option for your facility.
Choosing the Right Proximity Detection System: HIT-NOT vs. LIDAR
Both systems offer unique features designed to enhance operational safety. The choice between them is mostly influenced by the environment and the materials within. If the environment largely consists of metallic objects, HIT-NOT is in a league of its own. In active environments where heavy machines and people work closely together, it is the superior choice and proves highly efficient in monitoring people and machinery.
On the other hand, LIDAR shines in environments without heavy machinery. However, it does require precise mapping of materials for object detection. It excels in cluttered environments that are devoid of heavy machinery, but where more thorough operations are required.
The following overview provides a guideline on when to opt for either system. Let’s explore their nuances in greater detail.
Understanding HIT-NOT and LIDAR
Before choosing the right system, a grasp of the basic method each system uses to detect objects is needed.
- HIT-NOT uses magnetic fields to detect workers and assets within a customizable zone. When an individual or object enters this zone, the system triggers an alert. The alert notifies workers and heavy machinery operators. This ultimately helps to prevent potential accidents. The system involves wearable personal alarm devices for workers and magnetic generators strategically placed throughout the workspace. These components work together to provide real-time monitoring and communication.
- LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) uses pulsed laser light to measure distances. It shines a laser light and measures the time taken for the reflected light to return after hitting an object. Then it creates a detailed map of the surroundings.
5 Differences Between HIT-NOT and LIDAR
Detection and Accuracy
- HIT-NOT excels in detecting equipment, people, and obstructions through walls and other obstacles. It does so by issuing audio and visual alerts in its warning and danger zones. The alerts help to reduce blind spots. It is precise and accurate, with no accidents reported in facilities where the system has been used correctly.
- LIDAR can be highly accurate in detecting objects with precision, but it is limited by the power of the lasers and atmospheric conditions. Both can negatively affect its detection range and accuracy.
- HIT-NOT systems integrate seamlessly into any existing infrastructure. It can also be easily scaled to accommodate workspace changes. The design allows it to be implemented without significant changes to the existing infrastructure. Multiple magnetic field generators, personal alarm devices, and vehicles can operate in proximity without issue.
- LIDAR, due to its complexity and environmental limitations, may require a more intricate integration/installation process. This can potentially pose challenges when scaling or modifying to meet evolving needs. These challenges may result in a longer integration/installation timeline.
- HIT-NOT requires minimal maintenance. Its primary maintenance includes periodic checks on the personal alarm devices worn by pedestrians and the magnetic generators placed throughout the facility. The straightforward maintenance routine translates to lower operational costs and less downtime.
- LIDAR systems, with their intricate laser-based technology, present a different maintenance scenario. The complexity of the technology calls for more detailed maintenance practices. Meticulous attention to the calibration of the laser components is needed to maintain accuracy and longevity.
The fundamental difference lies in their operating principles.
- HIT-NOT creates a magnetic field. It then detects changes within the field that are caused by moving objects or individuals within a specified zone. The response time is instantaneous, accurate, and efficient, particularly where the magnetic field can be properly utilized.
- LIDAR, in contrast, relies on the emission of light/laser pulses to gauge distances within its surroundings. The pulses are then measured for the time it takes to reflect after hitting an object. This process also allows detailed 3D maps of the environment to be created.
Privacy concerns are becoming increasingly relevant as the use of monitoring systems may cause unease among employees and customers within a facility.
- HIT-NOT raises fewer privacy concerns as it detects and protects without extensive data collection. This approach alleviates concerns about personal and data privacy, as the system focuses on safety protocols and immediate notifications.
- LIDAR’s ability to generate 3D models of its surroundings may raise privacy concerns. Detailed models of the environment could include personal information or sensitive proprietary aspects of the facility and products. Any concerns can be mitigated by following protocols to meet all regulatory requirements to deter privacy breaches.
Which Proximity Alert System is Right for You?
Choosing between HIT-NOT and LIDAR hinges on several factors, such as the environment, budget, and intended usage of the system. For longer-distance detection in diverse and challenging environments, HIT-NOT may be the better choice. However, if you need a system providing more detailed information about objects in the vicinity, LIDAR could be the suitable option. A careful evaluation of all relevant factors is crucial to making an informed decision that aligns with your facility’s specific safety and operational requirements.
If you need assistance selecting the best proximity detection system, contact SynTech. We have over forty years of experience providing training and equipment to work sites, and we are the #1 sales and service provider of the HIT-NOT proximity detection system.
Protect your people and property, call the knowledgeable SynTech team at (256)571-5024.