In Booth B31064, the Defender Cell from Rite-Hite Machine Guarding (Milwaukee, WI) restricts access and provides point-of-operation guarding around potentially dangerous automated and automatic processes including stretch-wrap machine operations. It incorporates perimeter safety products – RoboGuard steel-wire fencing and point-of-operation guarding with the Defender high-speed, automated barrier door – into one four-sided safety cell. “Automated processes are making distribution centers and warehouses more efficient, but a lack of regulations makes certain applications a widely unprotected danger,” says Eric Esson, a product manager at Rite-Hite Machine Guarding. “It’s important to adhere to OSHA’s most basic guidelines by keeping employees and potential bystanders safe during these operations. The Defender Cell offers a solution in one package.”
Constructed of 8 ga welded steel wire, RoboGuard effectively restricts workers and bystanders from entering dangerous work spaces where machinery might be moving. The fencing is easily customizable to accommodate various applications and designs. The Defender’s high speed, high cycle automated door safely separates machine operators and manufacturing processes at the point-of–operation, while also allowing safe and easy access to the process cell once it has powered down. Additionally, the roll-up design leaves a small physical footprint. As more suppliers incorporate robots into daily operations – automatic stretch-wrapping, robotic palletizing and automated conveyors – it’s critical that the safety methodologies used are similar to that of other robotic processes and are compliant with applicable standards. “Shops don’t have to sacrifice efficiency in the name safety,” notes Esson. “This system is proof that potentially dangerous automated processes can be made safer.”
Also on display will be the new Vertiguard Automated Barrier Panel with several upgrades that make it an even better option for industrial facility managers looking to increase safety and productivity in their plants. The Vertiguard is a unique bottom-up pneumatic panel that provides physical separation between machine operators and manufacturing processes. An alternative to light curtains or area scanners, it is ideal for small interaction points with single or double robotic cells, part assembly, and conveyor openings. It reduces the footprint of the guarding system as compared to light curtains or scanners, and provides workers with better protection from application-driven hazards. The vertically rising system also allows for overhead crane loading, and its simple pneumatic operation helps increase productivity. In addition, the low-profile design helps prevent back injuries, since it requires minimal reach-in to load parts.
The most noticeable difference in the new Vertiguard is its standard size, which has been increased significantly to 110 in wide and 96 in tall (from 72 in wide and 86 in tall). Other upgrades include:
- Improved finger guard using a 40 oz FR vinyl sewn-in loop design to eliminate pinch point.
- New brand cylinder and flange mount with center support.
- Improved sliding panel design for smoother operation.
- More options, including eliminating the toe gap to allow for lower stored panel heights.
- Improved interlock switch brackets and additional switch options, including AB and Jakob Safety.
- Galvanized steel back panel and cylinder cover.
- Availability of 3D modeling for easy insertion into project drawings.
- Improved pneumatic hose and fitting quality.
- Photo-eye strip option to prevent door movement when obstructions are sensed.
The Vertiguard is manufactured under ISO 9001 specifications and comes fully assembled with a one-year warranty. Equipped with optional Cat. 4, PLe, SIL 3 switches and controls (per EN 954.1, EN ISO 13849-1 and EN 62061 specifications), it is an ideal safe-guarding device in robotic welding cells, materials handling, automated assembly, palletizing/packaging machinery and other applications that require both electronic safe-guarding devices and physical separation.
Rite-Hite Corporation, 8900 North Arbon Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53223, 414-355-2600, Fax: 414-355-9248, www.ritehite.com.
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