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Safeguarding a Robotic Weld Cell

A robotic weld cell is protected on multiple sides by hard guarding. Between work cycles operators must be able to access the weld cell to retrieve completed work pieces and load new material. Keep reading to learn how an SX5-B safety laser scanner used to safeguard the loading and unloading station on a robotic weld cell can increase machine uptime and productivity.

SX5 Safety Laser Scanner Safeguards a Robotic Weld Cell
Protecting Personnel from Hazards in a Robotic Weld Cell

A busy manufacturing plant uses welding robots in work cells throughout their facility. Fencing and other hard guarding is used to protect personnel from the motion of the robot and to keep staff at a safe distance from sparks, weld spatter, and other hazards typically associated with welding. Between work cycles operators need to be able to access the weld cell to retrieve completed work pieces and load new material. Hard guarding is limited at the loading and unloading station to facilitate the introduction and removal of material from the cell.

Providing Easy Access without Compromising Safety

Banner’s SX5-B is a compact, easy-to-deploy safety laser scanner that protects personnel within user defined protection zones in area and access guarding applications. It can be setup in just a few steps using Banner's free configuration software. The intuitive user interface makes it easy to design custom safety and warning zones to accommodate area infrastructure and meet the specific safety requirements of the application.

The SX5-B is mounted directly to the perimeter fencing in the corner adjacent to the weld cell's loading and unloading station. Positioned just 300 mm above the floor, the SX5-B scans out horizontally at a 275° angle to create a safety zone and a warning zone that extends out across the loading and unloading station and wraps around the corner of the protective fencing.

Any staff member entering the warning zone or attempting to reach around the hard guarding will be detected by the SX5-B which triggers a WLS27 multicolor LED strip light to fill the area with bright yellow light. This unmistakable warning dramatically reduces the instances staff inadvertently entering the safety zone. If the warning is ignored and the staff member proceeds into the safety zone, the welding robot will return to a safe state before the individual can come into contact with a hazard and the color of the WLS27 will change to red as an easy-to-see indication of the breach.

Benefits of the SX5 Safety Laser Scanner

Rapid Deployment

The SX5-B has a compact, one-piece design that installs easily in any location without requiring time-consuming alterations to area infrastructure. Device setup is easy using Banner’s free configuration software which features intuitive, menu-driven tools that guide users through each step in the process.

Increased Machine Uptime

The innovative optical design and advanced filtering capabilities offered by the SX5 enables best-in-class immunity to dust, dirt, and light interference to minimize false trips caused by environmental conditions. On-board LED indicators and a large multi-segment color display provide at-a-glance system status information so users can quickly identify zone breaches and resolve issues.

Versatile Protection Zones

The SX5-B will scan a 275° area around the device to create safety zones of up to 5.5 m and warning zones of up to 40 m. It will reliably safeguard large, complex, and irregularly shaped areas that would otherwise be protected by a combination of hard guarding, safety mats, and safety light curtains or grids.

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