Understanding safety components for machine guardingFollow article
Safety Components for Machine Guarding
Moving machinery creates workplace hazards, making machine guards vitally important to protect workers from preventable injuries.
The illustration below shows a typical workplace example, where physical access is required and illustrates areas where safety components need to be employed to prevent personal injury.
1 Safety Light Curtains
Light curtains detect workers entering hazardous machine areas and also stop machines before injury can occur and are usually chosen where mechanical guarding is impractical because of the frequent access needed during the normal operation of the machine.
2 Door Safety Switches
Even with fully automated machinery, operator and maintenance access is always required at some level, so monitoring and controlling the access points of machinery is vital to achieving safe machine operation. A wide range of contact, non-contact and inter-locking door switches are available to suit all applications.
3 Emergency Stop Switches
Machines must be fitted with one or more emergency stop devices to enable danger to be averted (EN ISO 13850). The most common form is a manual pushbutton assembly, which an operator strikes in an emergency, or by a rope pull switches, which provides the Emergency Stop function along the whole rope span.
4 Safety Relays and Programmable Controllers
Hardwired safety systems configured with safety relays are ideally suited to controlling individual safety functions, however, when building a complete safety system comprising of multiple safety functions, the use of a programmable safety controller, offers a flexible alternative to hard-wired systems.
5 Safety Limit Switches
Limit switches are available in plastic or metal housing, along with a wide range of actuators, including lever, roller plunger, and whisker type, depending upon the application required.
6 Safety Laser Scanner
The Omron 0S32C is a compact and versatile safety laser scanner, which can be used in a number of applications including intrusion detection and is a flexible alternative to safety light guards or for presence detection within a machines hazardous area (floor scanning).