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NY K82933

March 4, 2004
CLA-2-85:RR:NC:MM:109 K82933


TARIFF NO.: 8541.40.8000

Mr. Greg Watson
Sentek Solutions
P.O. Box 1451
Waxhaw, NC 28173

RE: The tariff classification of Optical Data Transmission Devices and Obstacle Detection Devices from Japan

Dear Mr. Watson:

In your letter dated January 28, 2004, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise, which you are seeking the tariff classification on, is described in your letter as Optical Data Transmission Devices and Obstacle Detection Devices. The Optical Data Transmission Devices include all models of DMS series, DMG series, BWF series, and CWF series. The Obstacle Detection Devices include all models of PB6, PB9, and PBS series. This ruling provides for the classification of the aforementioned models and their series, as they relate to each device.

The Hokuyo Optical Data Transmission Devices, both parallel and serial type, are used to create an optical “handshake” between Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) systems and a fixed station such as conveyor, load port or other process machine. These devices are installed on both the AGV’s side and the fixed station side. A pair is required for the optical hand-shaking to occur (one unit on each side).

The main function of the Optical Data Transmission Devices is to transmit and receive signals from the AGV to the fixed station. This is accomplished through the Optical Data Transmission Devices being connected (wired) directly to the output side of a PLC or other type of controller and they transmit the programmed data from the AGV to the stationary side. These devices provide a wireless solution medium to send data optically rather than a hard-wired approach to send output data. The information as programmed from the controller of the AGV is sent optically to the fixed side to instruct a conveyor to turn, to inform the loading station that a pallet of goods is being dropped off, or to instruct the AGV to move from one point to another.

The Hokuyo Obstacle Detection Devices are used on Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) systems to detect objects that may come within its infrared scanning path. Each model of the PB6, PB9, and PBS shares a common structure in that they are wired to the controller of the AGV and they have an adjustable infrared-scanning pattern. These devices, as an auxiliary piece of equipment, are connected (wired) to the controller of the AGV and the inputs and outputs are wired according to the requirements of the vehicle’s path of travel.

The Obstacle Detection Devices, when powered up through a 24-volt DC source on the AGV, will have infrared light from internal light emitting diodes (LEDs) emitting out from the unit at distances up to 5 meters out by 6 meters wide. This is referred to as the infrared scanning area. Depending on the model, this scanning area can be adjusted by either turning potentiometers on the unit to lower or increase the sensitivity or by pre-setting and adjusting the sensitivity through PC software.

When the Obstacle Detection sensors Input/Outputs are wired to the controller of the AGV, it allows for the device to act as an “object scanner”. When the vehicle is traveling along a path in a warehouse the Obstacle Detection Device is emitting the infrared beam waiting for an object, such as a pallet or the edge of a conveyor, to come within the scanning range. When this occurs, the infrared beam reflects off of this surface thus triggering an output back to the AGV controller to tell the vehicle to slow down or stop.

The applicable subheading for the Optical Data Transmission Devices and Obstacle Detection Devices will be 8541.40.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Diodes, transistors and similar semiconductor devices: photosensitive semiconductor devices light-emitting diodes; mounted piezoelectric crystalsOther: Optical coupled isolators.” The rate of duty will be free.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Linda M. Hackett at 646-733-3015.


Robert B. Swierupski

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