SICK has released the V 4000 press brake safe camera sensor, offering safety at work and optimisation of brake press processes. The electro-sensitive protective equipment is based on an image-processing system and is approved for Category 4 use, complying with EN 954-1.
Conventional systems for safeguarding the hazardous closing movement on press brakes consist of simple optoelectronic sensors and receivers and are mounted on the top clamping bar - and thus move with it. While they can detect any hazardous reaching into the protective field, they have serious disadvantages for machine productivity.
With the V 4000 press brake a process-adapted protective field is activated at the instant when the bending die and the workpiece appear in the two-dimensional camera image. The height of this field decreases continuously as the bending die, on which the V 4000 press brake is mounted, approaches the die plate. Thick sheet metal, bent metal shapes and thin plate with side walls are subject to differing protection modes. Standard mode is suited to simple one-dimensional bending, the box mode is for bending multi-dimensional objects such as boxes, and the limit stop setting takes into account limit stops on the object to be bent.
As the system is easy to integrate into the press constructor's machine control system the safety equipment can be switched to the optimum protective mode via selection of the bending program. The machine can activate the various protection modes appropriate for the bending techniques, one after another and as often as required, for the same object, first standard, then box for a high box side, and finally limit stop for a low part of a side.
The downward movement of the press bar must no longer be stopped just before trimming, with a new approach then being made using a foot switch. The savings in cycle time that this brings about raises the capacity of the machine.
Vibrations do not lead to a system response, as a complete camera field, within which the safety-monitored area is programmed, is intelligently evaluated.
The safe camera sensor tracks even small changes in alignment by following them with the monitored area. This immunity to any misalignment also makes adjustment during first commissioning and after a change of tools simpler and quicker than with conventional light grids. The system is simple to integrate into existing control systems, operating with the signals that are already used on press brakes.