Safety light curtains are presence-detection devices used for the prevention of machine accidents, by curbing access into hazardous areas.
Recently, users of this technology have expressed a need for more than ‘just safety’ and are looking for intelligent additional functions that generate added value. Specifically, users require process transparency, flexibility, ease of use and maintenance, as well as integrated automation functions for faster amortisation and greater durability.
SICK automation’s deTec4 safety light curtains include protective field heights of 300 mm to 2 100 mm, performance level-E safety rating in accordance with European standards (EN) ISO13849, safety integrity level 3 in accordance with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61508 and type 4 in accordance with IEC EN 61496-1, reduced resolution mode, beam coding, 2-signal muting, international protection (IP) 65 and IP67 protection class, and high temperature resistance from -30 °C to 55 °C.
In addition, the units feature modular functional scope and new features, which, according to the manufacturer, no other safety light curtain currently offers in this combination. The ‘smart presence detection’ activates presence detection only if a person is actually in danger. The unit can blank out items such as sawdust and weld sparks that fall into its protective field, while protecting people in the vicinity. This feature aims to reduce unplanned downtimes and machine failures.
The units also include diagnostic options via Network File System and the ‘SICK safety assistant’ smartphone application (app). Near Field Communication and the smartphone app facilitate real-time diagnostics and on-site troubleshooting by taking a snapshot and sensor communication via IO-link provides for continuous remote diagnostic data, as well as data analysis and visualisation in the company’s SOPAS engineering tool. This helps with troubleshooting in the event of a fault, as well as restoring the sensor function and operational readiness of the machine. In addition, communication via IO-link makes it possible to use data from the unit for additional measurement and automation functions.