Rockwell Automation is launching the Guardmaster SC300 Hand Detection safety sensor, describing it as a compact Type 3, SIL 2 (IEC 62061 / EN 62061), PLd (EN ISO 13849-1) Vision-Based Protective Device (VBPD) that uses image-processing technology to detect the intrusion of objects through its detection window.
The safety-sensing function is performed by a single image sensing device that views a single two-dimensional image against a passive pattern as the background. If the view of the pattern is impeded by an object of a certain resolution, the SC300 outputs a signal to a safety-related control system to stop the machine (or take whatever action is appropriate). The SC300 can be configured either to allow the machine to restart as soon as the intruding object has been removed or, alternatively, require the control system to be reset manually. Two safe semiconductor outputs are provided as standard.
Targeted at light- and medium-duty industrial machine guarding applications, the Guardmaster SC300 can be used for frame openings ranging from 400 x 400mm up to 1500 x 1500mm, giving a 20ms response time.
The SC300 is said to be versatile, as well as easy to install and set up. While the purchase price is similar to that of safety light curtains with a similar detection specification, there are considerable savings to be made through the faster, easier set-up. Its small size and detection offset enable it to be mounted on the inside or outside corner of a frame opening, thereby maintaining the full opening while helping protect the SC300 - which is sealed to IP54.
The unit is used in conjunction with special reflective tape that defines the boundaries of the sensing field. The reflective tape is offered in two resolutions: 24mm for openings of 400mm to 1m and 30mm for openings of 600mm to 1.5m. No software is required to program or teach the device the style of the opening to be guarded; it automatically detects the reflective tape when the external teach stylus or integrated key switch is used to perform the teach function. The robust reflective tape is designed for industrial applications but, if it is damaged, the damaged section of tape can be removed and replaced, then another teach operation performed.
For larger openings, two SC300 sensors can be mounted back to back and synchronised so that the maximum opening size can be doubled from 1.5 to 3m. It is also possible to synchronise two SC300s at right angles to each other in order to provide detection on two sides of an opening. In this case a machine can be designed with two sides open and no corner pillar, so manual load/unload operations can be more ergonomic.
Set up is a simple four-stage process:
- The unit is mounted in the corner of the opening to be monitored.
- Tape is applied to the 'opposing' inside surfaces of the opening.
- The teach button (or an external key switch) activates the teach function, which the unit uses to detect the entire length of the tape.
- The functionality is verified using a test rod that comes as part of the tape pack.
Options include: two tape varieties; 2m, 5m and 10m cables; and stainless steel mounting brackets.
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