Full service for supply and support of safety light curtains

31 January 2012

Pilz Automation Ltdvisit website


Full service for supply and support of safety light curtainsNot only does Pilz supply a very broad range of safety light curtains and barriers, but it also offers all necessary services in support of these specialist products.

Where active human intervention with a process is required (such as infeed and outfeed work), physical guards can disrupt the work cycle. A work station can be designed to be ergonomic and still provide effective protection for workers by using electro-sensitive protective equipment (ESPE), otherwise known as active optical protective devices (AOPD)or light beams, light curtains and light grids.

Pilz is able to supply machine builders with economical products because it offers a choice of Type 2 or Type 4 PSENopt single light beam devices, light curtains and light grids covering finger (14mm), hand (30mm) and body protection. This wide selection means applications can be covered with the optimum ESPE as opposed to one that is too much or too little.

Added benefits

Although designed primarily for use as safety parts of control systems (SRP/CS), ESPE can also increase plant efficiency and availability thanks to features including:

  • Muting to distinguish between a person and material
  • Blanking for flexible, uninterrupted production processes
  • Cascading for effective protection against encroachment into and behind the protected area
  • Networkability over SafetyBUS p - suitably equipped versions of Pilz light curtains can help to reduce installation costs and downtime thanks to extensive parameter setting and availability of diagnostic data for simple troubleshooting. Settings can also be stored in the host PSS (programmable safety system) controller, making unit exchange quick via by means of the simple transfer of settings.

Pilz says that the light curtains are quick to install and commission with a compact design, rotatable mounting brackets and built-in or external laser alignment aids.

Most importantly, Pilz ESPE products are compliant and approved in accordance with EN 61508, EN 61496-1 and EN 61496-2 for use in applications up to PL e / SIL CL 3 (EN ISO 13849-1 / EN 62061).

ESPE services

Pilz claims to differentiate itself with its high-quality services, which include the expertise to specify and install the right ESPE, and to inspect legacy devices. The company can help machine builders, system integrators and engineers upgrading existing machines to select the device that best meets the application requirements in terms of making sure the safety requirement specification is appropriate, and in accordance with EN ISO 13855:2010 Positioning of safeguards with respect to the approach speeds of parts of the human body (which has replaced EN 999). This leads to a safety function that meets fully the safety requirement specification. This is vital; many light curtains in industry are either incorrectly specified or installed, making them at best over-specified and expensive, and at worst insufficient and unsafe.

In addition, Pilz has DAkkS Accreditation to conduct 'Inspection of Safeguards'. Employers are, under PUWER, responsible for always providing only safe work equipment. That is why it is a legal requirement to regularly inspect safety-related equipment on machinery. That way any safety defects that have arisen during assembly or refitting, any manipulation (by-passing) of safeguards, or changes to work procedures can be identified early and rectified. The user must define the intervals at which equipment is inspected; Pilz recommend this is at least once a year.

With its experience of the industry and the technical competence of its staff, and as a DAkkS-accredited inspection body in accordance with EN ISO 17020, Pilz can guarantee objectivity, high availability for machinery and high safety for staff.

All technical safeguards are inspected with regard to installation, condition and safe function. This includes emergency stops, safety fences, two-hand control devices and optoelectronic protective devices such as light curtains, laser scanners and camera-based systems. Overrun measurements are used to check that specified safety distances correspond to the current condition of the machine.

Customers receive detailed inspection reports for each machine, to be stored with the machine's documentation. Pilz can discuss any defects that may have emerged or any other safety-related questions directly on site; the safety engineers can also demonstrate potential solutions that are typical for the customer's industry. If the inspection is passed, the machine is given a Pilz quality seal.

Follow the links for more information about light curtains and light curtain services (inspection of safeguards).

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