Safety camera is a low-cost alternative to light curtains

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Sick is launching the V300 safety camera for machine guarding applications, describing it as 'the first practical camera solution for point-of-operation guarding.' The company says that, compared with using traditional safety light curtains, the V300 reduces the number of parts and installation time required.

Benefits offered by the V300 are both financial and operational. Purchase costs are lower compared to a typical light curtain, the installation time is shorter and alignment and commissioning needs no specialist equipment or training.

Suitable for safeguarding rectangular openings and access points, the V300 is said to be simple to install: simply mount the V300 in the most convenient corner of the opening, apply the rugged reflector strip along two opposite adjacent lengths, and press the 'teach' button.

For larger openings or machines that require guarding on two adjacent sides, a pair of V300 units can be synchronised together to offer greater flexibility than is normally achieved by using safety light curtains.

How it works

The reflector strip forms a background target for the V300 and the device has a detection capability equivalent to a 20mm resolution light curtain. The V300 can cope with dirt build-up as well as damage to the reflective. However, if the strip becomes so badly damaged that the V300 can no longer operate, a new adhesive strip can be replaced and the device reset with a 'push to teach' function in a matter of minutes.

The V300 offers machine builders, end users and suppliers a number of logistical advantages. Each device can be taught to protect different size openings and the unit itself is no bigger than a traditional SLR camera. This means that factories with many applications can be supported by fewer spare parts, so there is no longer a need to stock many different lengths of light curtain.

Fully equipped with Reset and External Device Monitoring (EDM), the V300 interfaces with standard light curtain relays, Sick muting modules and controllers - all without any changes required. The result is a versatile, easy-to-use system for applications where the hazard is estimated to require SIL2 (EN 62061), Category 3 (EN 954-1) or Performance Level (PL) d (BS EN 13849-1).

For lower-risk applications, Sick will be launching the V200 in the next few months.

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