Serviceline Industrial Sensors
Serviceline Explosion Protection

Reliable Tank Identification for Automated Guided Vehicles

Sophisticated Safety Concepts for Specific Application Requirements

The Application

Automated guided vehicles are used in logistics and intralogistics across all industries. One vehicle fleet can often consist of a variety of different vehicles. This means that a range of scenarios can arise when changing batteries or refueling, for example, and that vehicles must be uniquely identified. When it comes to hydrogen-powered vehicles, there may be different types of fuel tank installed, and each of these tanks must be filled using a specific amount of pressure. Since both people and machines can be severely harmed in the event of an error, a reliable method for identifying the tanks is required. Ensuring that refueling can be performed safely requires an identification system that can reliably detect the different types of tank. The appropriate pressure for the respective tank is applied and the vehicle can be filled with hydrogen. Depending on the location of the refueling station, this identification system needs to be suitable for operation indoors and outdoors, and for use in demanding industrial environments in which it is exposed to dirt or weather conditions.

The Goal

In addition to safe operation indoors, outdoors, and in harsh industrial environments, the identification system must be capable of working with detection ranges of two to three meters. This ensures vehicles can be refueled safely, even from a distance, since they do not always stop directly in front of the fuel pump. The system must also meet the requirements of PL d (ISO 13849)/SIL 2 (IEC 62061). There is no reliable identification system on the market that is tailored to this application.

The Solution

IUT-F190-B40 UHF RFID Read/Write Device
IUT-F190-B40 UHF RFID Read/Write Device

Pepperl+Fuchs has developed a specific, complete solution based on a safety concept and components. Two RFID tags that are suitable for use in harsh industrial environments are attached to the vehicles for this purpose. The required SIL level is ensured by redundancy and an evaluation of the tag information in the safe control panel.

When an automated guided vehicle reaches the refueling station, it is detected by a UHF read/write device with a large detection range. This read/write device is attached to the fuel pump. The safety control system evaluates the data and the appropriate pressure for the respective tank is applied. This allows the vehicles to be safely refueled at any time.


Technical Features

  • Safe solution up to PL d/SIL 2
  • Large detection range from two to three meters
  • Rugged system for indoor and outdoor applications
  • Extremely compact design

The Advantages

As an expert partner, Pepperl+Fuchs supports users with any questions relating to functional safety, such as developing the safety concept and calculating the SIL and PL.

The safety concept is created independently of the technology and tailored precisely to the application and the required performance level. If there are no suitable, cost-effective safety products on the market, a specific safety concept using non-safe products can also provide the optimal solution. Like here, for example, through the redundant design of RFID tags.

Costs for additional required components are kept to a minimum. Depending on the requirements, solutions can make use of the extensive Pepperl+Fuchs portfolio of standard sensors with a wide range of designs and mounting options.

At a Glance

  • A complete solution based on specific concepts and components
  • Technology-independent concepts that are perfectly aligned with the requirements of the application environment
  • Solutions that achieve the required performance level even when using non-safe products
  • Easy-to-integrate and highly cost-effective solutions
  • A large portfolio of standard sensors that can be perfectly adapted to customer applications


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