SICK has introduced the new M4000 family of multiple light beam safety devices, which offer category 4 safety in compliance with IEC 61496 and SIL 3 according to IEC 61508.
The Advanced, Standard and Area versions are modular, expandable with supplementary options and offer a variety of beam numbers, separations and ranges.
The M4000 recently won the IF Design Award and was nominated for the German Design Prize.
The M4000 series replaces the MSL multibeam photoelectric safety switch. Depending on the device version, there are numerous new functions and status indicators available, allowing rapid commissioning and ensuring a high level of availability.
Economical safety solutions are guaranteed because users can select exactly the right mix of M4000 functions for each application.
The basic function of all M4000 devices is to protect access. The M4000 Advanced version features an RS-232 configuration interface on the device, beam coding, restart interlock, external device monitoring and Safety Data Link (SDL) interface for safe network or fieldbus integration.
Together with the UE403 muting switching device the two- to four-beam system provides innovative, decentralised muting solutions for access protection during automated material transport.
The UE403 can be mounted directly on the non-distorting profile of the M4000 Advanced and the LED muting indicator lamp is already integrated in the receiver housing.
These features permit decentralised muting solutions with an enclosure rating of IP 65 and with wiring costs reduced to a minimum compared to conventional central muting solutions in IP 20 control cabinet versions.
The potential muting solutions of the devices are advanced. Up to four muting sensors (such as optical, inductive, capacitive sensors or mechanical switches) can be connected.
Configurable inputs for Reset and Override control devices are available, as is a configurable output for the external muting indicator.
Both the multiple light beam safety device and the UE403 switching unit offer configuration and diagnostic opportunities via their RS232 interfaces. This allows numerous functions and settings to be implemented application-specifically and individually.
The system can operate with conventional muting, with partial blanking of defined beams, or a mixture of the two depending, for example, on a material classification.
A variety of time and process monitoring definitions can be configured to check whether essential muting conditions are maintained - reliably detecting tampering or misalignment.
The integrated Override function resets the muting function to the last valid muting status (such as after a muting sequence error) and thus permits free passage through the muting station.
Access protection from one or more sides is achieved with the M4000 Standard. The basic function of the M4000 Standard is the protection of access. The system is available in two- to four-beam variants. Differing beam separations can also be selected, as well as a variety of ranges of up to 70m.
The M4000 Standard offers features that are not always really "standard". Configuration buttons on the device, an integrated laser alignment aid for each individual beam, LED indicators on the receiver housing, separate connection on the receiver for direct wiring of the reset button and an integrated AS-i Safety-at-Work interface are features that make all the difference to installation and operation.
Both the M4000 Standard and the M4000 Advanced are available as active/passive variants, whereby only one side requires electrical connection. This significantly reduces wiring costs and makes A/P systems the optimum solution for ranges of up to 7.5m.
The M4000 family is rounded off by the Area version. Hazardous areas of up to 70m can be monitored with two different resolutions (60mm or 80mm) and hazardous points-of operation is effectively safeguarded against stepping behind the safety device.
An RS-232 interface for configuration and diagnosis and an SDL interface for connection to safe networks are also part of the performance specification.