Perimeter, access guard; light curtains; connecting system

By Control Engineering Staff December 21, 2005
Pico-Guard Point from Banner Engineering operates with light and uses no electricity at the point of detection so can be used in explosive environments.

Several guarding and other safety devices were introduced recently for machine safety applications. These include a safety perimeter guard for manufacturing cells, multiple light beam safety device, and module that allows sequential connections for up to three light curtains. Manufacturers are Banner Engineering , Sick , and Scientific Technologies Inc .
Think of a one-beam light curtain, and that’s the non-contact fiber-optic safety element from Banner Engineering. Compact, rugged Pico-Guard Point, designed for use with the Pico-Guard fiber-optic controller for personnel safety applications can provide perimeter- and access-guarding. Multiple emitter- and receiver-points can be arranged to customize optical safety grids that meet Safety Category-4 requirements. Made of impact-resistant polycarbonate or stainless steel, it can guard distances up to 28.7 m and resist damage from moisture and debris. It comes with 12- or 30-mm barrel and is rated IP67.
Access guarding device offers maximum availability for work cells. M4000-Standard multiple light-beam safety device from Sick offers mounting flexibility, with a three-groove housing and swivel-mount end caps. It protects a perimeter up to 70 m with beam spacing of 300, 400, 450, 500, and 600 mm. M4000 is ideal for guarding robot cells, manufacturing cells, a fence opening, and other areas.

Use of STI’s RM-5 Resource Module can eliminate the need to press cycle-start switches and motion injuries caused by reaching for and pressing start switches.

Connect up to three sets of safety light curtains. Scientific Technologies Inc. introduces the RM-5 Resource Module, a microprocessor-controlled, multifunction relay, allowing up to three light curtains to be connected in sequence. It provides 2-NO and 1-NC force-guided safety contacts. Muting for conveyor applications and presence sensing device initiation (PSDI) are also a function of this resource module. PSDI is used to initiate the cycle of a machine by counting the number of “breaks,” or obstructions, of a presence-sensing device (light curtain). Operating a machine in PSDI mode allows for increased productivity because “non-value added” movements to cycle machines are eliminated. This multi-function resource module is CE approved and UL listed.

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