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Stop! Think safety when building machinery

Published: 11 May 2018 - Rachael Morling

When building machinery, safety is an essential factor that needs to be considered in order to protect personnel from injury and the machine itself from potential damage. To help, Turck Banner offers a range of solutions – from its new range of light screens with enclosures that enable their use in applications exposed to chemical cleaning agents and high-pressure wash-down, to emergency stop buttons.

While forming an essential part of the production environment, many types of machinery can be a hazard to workers. This could range from someone getting too close and being injured by a moving part, to falling in and being crushed. Sometimes simple finger protection will be needed, but for other machinery such as a palletiser, for instance, there is the risk that someone could stray or fall into the area, so a system is needed that can detect a person and make the area safer.

According to Turck Banner, multiple hazards are posed by automated production equipment such as press or stamping machines, transport systems and packaging machines. As a result, legislation is getting tighter and the risk of danger needs to be minimised.

One way to increase safety around machinery is to use such equipment as guarding systems and emergency stop buttons. After all, guarding the perimeters and points of operation is critical to not only protecting personnel from injury, but also to prevent the equipment itself from being damaged.

A new range of light screens

From a legal and moral standpoint, machine safety is the responsibility of the designer and manufacturer as well as the end user, Turck Banner explains. However, sometimes the desire to offer the best protection is tempered by the need to keep costs down.

To help, the company has been producing safety light screens for five decades, with its latest offering – which it launched at a press conference earlier this year – being the new EZ-SCREEN Light Screen range. This cost-efficient solution not only includes the most popular functions from previous generations plus additional features, but some of the features that may complicate the installation or add further maintenance have been removed.

The new range is available in three resolutions: 14, 23 and 40mm, with a range up to 12m. Sensor lengths are from 280 to 1820mm in 70mm increments. Furthermore, cascade models are available where up to four systems of any length, resolution and number of beams can be combined to act as a single system.

The food industry can often pose challenges to equipment. Wash-down procedures are essential here, so the equipment needs to be protected against water ingress and damage while being easy to clean in order to comply with food safety standards.

For use here, Turck Banner has produced a version of the EZ-SCREEN in a hygienic tubular enclosure. This is ideal for applications that are frequently exposed to chemical cleaning agents and high-pressure wash-down. The enclosures are IP67/IP69K rated so will withstand the harshest common cleaning agents, and the polycarbonate housing will not discolour or become cloudy over time.

Emergency stop

Not only does Turck Banner provide safety light screens, but its offerings  for machine safety also include safety controllers, interlocks, two-hand controls and emergency stop buttons.

The company’s emergency stop buttons are available in panel mount versions or pre-assembled enclosures; and custom built solutions can also be provided to meet application demands.

In conjunction with emergency stop buttons, operators often need clear indication of where a button has been actuated or a problem exists. So, the most recent solution combines Turck Banner’s expertise in LED lighting and indication to guide operators to the right area – a benefit, for example, on a long production line. The company’s dual-colour and tri-colour area strip lights are typically white for normal operation, then switching to red when actuated, assisting operators to quickly identify the problem area and take remedial action. In this type of application, multi-colour strip lights can offer a more cost-efficient solution than conventional tower lights and have much greater visibility, the company adds.

T: 01268 578888

Industry Connections: Turck Banner Ltd


 
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