Machine safety solutions

05 February 2018

Automated production equipment, such as press or stamping machines, transport systems and packaging machines can pose multiple hazards to machine operators and other staff. Guarding perimeters and points of operation is critical to protecting personnel from injury, and preventing equipment damage. 

Banner Engineering has a history of producing safety light screens spanning five decades. Its investment in research and development in this field has culminated in the production of the new EZ-SCREEN Light Screen range.

EZ-SCREEN is a cost-efficient solution that incorporates the most popular functions from Banner Engineering's previous generations of light screen systems, plus some new features. Furthermore, the company says that features that may complicate the installation or add further maintenance have been stripped out. The result is a streamlined, cost-efficient safety solution.

To accommodate many diverse applications, the EZ-SCREEN LS is available in three resolutions—14, 23 and 40mm—with a range to 12m. Sensor lengths range from 280 to 1820mm in 70mm increments. Cascade models are also available which allow users to combine up to four systems of any length, resolution and number of beams which then act as a single system.

The food industry poses some interesting challenges for safety system manufacturers as light screens, installed on food lines, need to be protected from water ingress and damage while remaining easy to clean in order to comply with relevant food safety standards. To meet this challenge Banner has produced a version of the EZ-SCREEN in hygienic tubular enclosures that are suitable for applications frequently exposed to chemical cleaning agents and high-pressure wash-downs. The IP67/IP69K rated enclosures withstand the harshest common cleaning agents and Banner says the polycarbonate housing will not discolour or become cloudy over time, ensuring reliable performance and a long lifespan.

Banner’s contribution to the machine safety market is not limited to safety light screens as the company also offers a wide range of safety controllers, safety interlocks, two-hand controls and emergency stop buttons.

Emergency stop buttons are offered in panel mount versions or pre-assembled enclosures. Illuminated models to assist in identification of actuation are also available. As a result of listening and responding to the requirements of machine builders and operators, Banner now offers competitive, custom-built solutions.  

In conjunction with emergency stop buttons, end-user operators frequently require clear indication of the area where a button is actuated or another problem exists. Using its expertise in LED lighting and indication, Banner offers dual-colour and tri-colour area strip lights, typically white for normal operation, switching to red when actuated. This solution helps operators quickly identify the problem area. Banner says that in this type of application multi-colour strip lights can offer a more cost-efficient solution than conventional tower lights and have much greater visibility.