Light Curtains, Noncontact Buttons Protect Assembly Operators
Although this method minimizes risk to the specific machine
The light screens guard points of operation, access areas and perimeters. These noncontact systems protect fingers, hands and ankles by detecting the presence of opaque objects that interrupt a part of the predefined area. The light screen sends a safety stop signal to the controls of the machine, which react immediately to stop the hazardous motion before an incident occurs.
Plus, Banner’s Ez-Screen safety light screen offers versatile mounting options for flexible use, without interfering with normal production processes.
“We mounted the light curtains on these machines in a top and bottom orientation,” says Steve Amaro, Buhrke process engineer. “This allows the operator to pass from machine to machine without moving around upright posts.”
In addition to protecting workers, the light screen provides significant time and cost savings. With an alternative method, such as a two-hand tie-down pushbutton or palm method, Buhrke estimates a single cycle would take 14 to 15 sec. Using the light screen cuts this time nearly in half—requiring just 7 to 8 sec. per cycle.
Buhrke also uses Banner safety products for machine control. For example, a machine used to assemble radio chassis is safeguarded with Banner’s Pico-Guard fiberoptic system controllers. These devices interface with the machine PLC via fiberoptic controllers, which feature four separate optical sensing channels to monitor one or multiple fiberoptic switches, point, grids or optical e-stop buttons in the same fiberoptic loop.
“Running plastic fibers is less labor intensive than the alternative method of hard-wiring door switches and using a different style of controller,” Amaro says.
Banner Engineering: 763/544-3164; www.bannerengineering.com
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