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Safety light curtains (light screens or light guards) are capacitive proximity sensors that offer an added layer of protection for people who work in environments with “dangerous machinery”. They are also known as light screens or light guards.

Light screens are photoelectric type gadgets that mimic an opposed beam photocell but with a vertical arrangement with two or more beams spaced strategically to give the illusion of a curtain.

The Science of Safety Light Curtains - Safety light curtains come as two gadgets in one communicating through a light beam.  One part of the light guard is a transmitter and the other a receiver. The light beams work as the “police” and will signal the safety controls of the curtains in case of a safety breach. The light beams also function only within a specified frequency which curbs any possible interference with other sources of light.

Safety Light Curtains vs. Light Grids - Safety light curtains are composed of several light beams placed near one another. They can sense when an object like a person, hand or fingers are approaching it. Light grids comprise only 1-4 light beams. They are ideal for protecting larger areas contrary while safety light curtain are recommended for small spaces.

Safety Light Curtains vs. Mechanical Barriers - Safety light curtains are more cost efficient compared to mechanical barriers since they’re non-contact gadgets. These machines also allow access by machine operators, a quality that makes them even more efficient for use.

Most Used Functions - Light curtains have more functions compared to light grids. The most common functions are muting and blanking.

Muting: This function prevents a person or object from passing through the protected area during the hazardous phase of the machine cycle but allows passage when during a less risky phase. The muting function can disable the entire curtain temporarily and can also be set to only block people but allow objects.

Blanking: This function ignores stationary or moving objects of a particular size. It’s ideal in applications requiring the machine to pass through a protective field.

Auto and Manual Reset: These are functions that adjust the Output Signal Switching Devices (OSSDs) on a light curtain. An operator will use the automatic reset function when they need to cross into a protected area. The OSSDS will communicate with the curtains machine safety controls and signal it to stop working.

The manual reset works in the same way as the auto reset except that with this one the operator must manually press the reset button when the protected area is clear. This is a useful function with applications that have large guarded areas as the operator can be inside the curtain for as long as he or she needs to and then reset safety protection when out.


Published: 9 days ago by outdoorliving.

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