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Fibre optic safety switch system

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article image Banner Pico-Guard fibre optic safety system.

BANNER Engineering has announced Pico-Guard, a new fibre optic safety system, available from Micromax , that directly replaces mechanical safety interlock switches to safeguard potentially dangerous machines.

This combination of control-reliable, non-contacting photoelectric and fibre optic technologies provides a low-cost alternative to cumbersome and costly methods of machine safeguarding.

This new concept in safety systems is versatile, efficient and easy to install. It combines a controller and various plug-in, snap-lock Pico-GuarD optical safety interlock switches and plastic fibre optic cable to monitor doors, gates, and hard guards.

The Pico-Guard system eliminates the need to run electrical wiring to the machine or hazardous area. Durable fibre optic cables can be easily routed to multiple machine guard points or hazardous areas, making conventional copper wires that carry electrical current to the guarded points no longer necessary.

The controller includes four separate optical channels. Each of the four channels can control multiple optical safety interlock switches in the same optical network.

Additional optical safety interlock switches can be added to any channel simply by inserting them into the fibre optic loop for that channel. If desired, each channel can control a separate zone of a machine such as doors, entry gates, guards, etc.

Regardless of the optical safety interlock switches used, when the system detects a break in the optical beam (absence of its signal) such as a movement in a guard or door, or receives a safety stop request, it provides a stop signal to the machine control circuit.

In addition to personnel protection, the system can protect equipment, critical tooling, or other critical materials in process. The receiver has two solid-state safety outputs to control 24V dc loads. Or, it can control forced-guided relays to provide isolated contacts.

The Pico-Guard is designed to meet ISO 13849-1 (EN954-1) Category 4 requirements. This guarding method has been designed so that a single switch point per door will meet Category 4 applications.

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