STI: Safety laser scanners guard areas near machines


A safety laser scanner, among newest technologies to be used for machine area safeguarding, uses a small optical sensor, pulses laser light to monitor surroundings, compares results to a predefined zone, and sends a stop signal to connected machinery when an intrusion is detected, according to Scientific Technologies Inc.

Its advantage over other technologies, STI says, is “versatility and non-intrusive presence.” Unlike hard guards such as fences or safety floor mats, the laser scanner works without physical barriers so is perfect for equipment that requires regular maintenance and cleaning. “Fewer hardguards are needed, allowing sweepers, forklifts, and loaders to transit through its protection area.”

STI explains that “Safety laser scanners function by using a‘time of flight’ measurement to determine distance. The scanner emits a light pulse; the light then hits the first object in its path and is reflected back to the scanner. Then the scanner compares the distance against the known size of its safety zone. If the scanner senses an intrusion into the safety zone, it sends a stop signal to the guarded machinery. This sequence is repeated as the optical assembly rotates, scanning the guarded area.”

The advice came in STI’s 850-page “2006-2007 Engineering Guide to Machine and Process Safeguarding,” which includes tutorial information and product examples for safety laser scanners, perimeter access guards, safety light curtains, resource modules, safety mats and area guards, safety interlock switches, and safety monitoring relays. Hydraulic press-brake guards, safety contact strips and edges, two-hand controls, enabling switches, and process safeguards are also featured. New product categories include safety awareness signs, disconnect switches and motor starters, as well as cutting and turning machine safety.

—Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief, Control Engineering,

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Controller programming; Safety networks; Enclosure design; Power quality; Safety integrity levels; Increasing process efficiency
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me