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Understanding safety components for machine guarding

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 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 personnel injury.

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1 Safety Light Curtains

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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.

View example range of Omron light curtains

2 Door Safety Switches

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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.

View example range of Honeywell safety interlock switches

View example range of Telemecanique non-contact switches

3 Emergency Stop Switches

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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.

View emergency stop buttons

4 Safety Relays and Programmable Controllers

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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.

View example range of Pilz Safety Relays

5 Safety Limit Switches

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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.

View range of Siemens Limit Switches as an example

6 Safety Laser Scanner

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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).

View the OMRON Safety Laser Scanner

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