Designed for use under harsh environmental conditions, the new C4000 Fusion safety light curtain from Sick succeeds in combining maximum safety at work with optimum productivity, ergonomy and cost-effectiveness. Suppression of contamination in the monitored environment; adjustability of resolution to protect hands or entire persons; as well as redundant, optical synchronisation of the light curtain’s transmitter and receiver modules ensure maximum possible availability of the protective equipment, and thus minimised machine and plant downtimes.
The C4000 Fusion safety light curtain is electro-sensitive protective equipment complying with Performance Level ”e” according to EN ISO 13849 and SIL3 in line with IEC 61508 and can be used for the horizontal or vertical protection of hazardous points-of-operation. The system concept permits economical and customer-specific protection of access to machines and plant integrated in automatic transport circulatory systems for which reliable differentiation between humans and materials is vital. Whereby the C4000 Fusion focuses on applications in which optoelectronic, and thus barrier-free, protection is desired for process-related reasons, but has hitherto failed to provide the necessary process availability because of the risk of contamination or other environmental conditions. This applies, for example, for wood-processing works: a range of tasks involving transport systems can now be solved here with the C4000 Fusion – efficiently, in terms of both safety and the processes involved – despite the risk of sporadic contamination or problems caused by sawdust, wood shavings or splinters.
Intelligent method of function for maximum availability
At first glance, the C4000 Fusion operates like many other safety light curtains: the "safe protective field" generated by the transmitter and the receiver detects a person or their limb and immediately switches the machine off. This switching-off is triggered by the interruption of one or more light beams – a principle that quickly brings ”normal” light curtains up against their limits when they are used in harsh environments and exposed to correspondingly high risks of contamination. The consequence: uncontrolled responses by safety equipment, minimised machine availability and, ultimately, the risk of employees circumventing the protective equipment because of insufficient acceptance.
This is not the case with the C4000 Fusion! Here, three features or functions ensure maximum availability: the Multiscan process, reduced resolution and redundant transmitter-receiver synchronisation. Multiscan is based on an increase in the scanning rate, i.e. querying the uninterrupted light paths of the individual transmitter elements as well as the intelligent evaluation of scan results. This allows the system to reliably distinguish between whether an arm or a person is interrupting individual beams of the protective field or whether, for example, falling wood shavings are responsible. In addition, this process supports reduced resolution of the protective field down to 300 mm, i.e. allows process-oriented and ergonomic adjustment of the light curtain to body or hand protection. The advantage: operation-related reaching into the machine is tolerated whilst leaning in with the upper torso leads to a safe machine stop. Finally, the redundant synchronisation of the C4000 Fusion contributes towards maximum availability because electronic co-ordination of the transmitter and receiver modules takes place within the light curtain via several light beams.