Robotic Guarding in Work Area without Limiting Access
A robotic case packer can pose multiple risks for accident or injury. Hard guarding protects personnel from machine hazards by preventing contact with the case packer but is excessive in applications where access is necessary to operate equipment and complete tasks. Read on to learn how an SX5-B safety laser scanner protects personnel and allows easy access to equipment.
A robotic case packer picks up completed products from an infeed conveyor and places them in a box on a separate conveyor. This motion is repeated hundreds of times an hour. Any person coming into contact with the robot while it is in operation would be at risk of serious injury from this motion.
Hard guarding surrounds the case packer, protecting personnel from potential hazards by impeding access to the case packer. However, the operator work station must remain free of these barriers in order to allow staff to inspect shipments and service equipment. Safety mats are often used to safeguard access points such as this, but in busy work environments, these can wear out quickly and must be replaced frequently, increasing expenses and machine downtime.
Banner’s SX5-B safety laser scanner is ideal for applications like this where worker safety is absolutely essential and access to equipment is crucial to processes and machine operation. This versatile safety device protects personnel by continuously scanning a user-defined area of up to 275° to create a two-dimensional protected zone that must be crossed to reach the hazard.
The SX5-B uses Banner's powerful safety laser scanner software which features menu-driven tools that simplify device setup and speed deployment. The intuitive user interface makes it easy to design and update safety and warning zones to accommodate area infrastructure and meet specific safety requirements.
Installed approximately 30 cm from the floor at the base of the operator work station, the SX5-B continuously scans the area surrounding the work station. Any person or object entering the warning zone will be detected by the SX5-B. This will trigger a WLS27 multicolor LED strip light to fill the area with bright yellow light to warn the individual that they have entered a protected area. If the warning is ignored and the safety zone is breached, the motion of the robot will come to a controlled stop before the hazard can be reached and the color of the WLS27 will change to red as an easy-to-see indication of the breach.