At CIMTEC ‘Safety is Key’, is on the top of our list when finding solutions for our customers. It’s a concept that ramped up during the COVID-19 era and continues to be paramount in the manufacturing industry. SICK safety switches are indispensable where safety is required for people and machinery. Commonly used to monitor doors, gates, and other moveable physical guards, safety switches of all varieties are used to separate personnel from a potential hazard. It sends a signal to the machine’s controls system if the guard has been opened, removed, or is out of alignment.
SICK’s non-contact safety switches are ideal in applications where precise guidance of guards may be difficult. These devices are typically long lasting, require minimal maintenance, and are resistant to shock and vibrations. By design, a non-contact safety switch generally consists of two pieces, a sensor and an actuator. Both never actually contact one another. SICK offers a large selection of non-contact safety switches, safety locking devices as well as traditional electromechanical safety switches and safety command devices. Below are three options to help you ensure a safe work environment for your facility.
Magnetic Non-Contact Safety Switches
Magnetic non-contact safety switches provide a fair amount of tolerance to account for many different situations. For example, if a door is sagging or slightly out of alignment, it is more accommodating to misalignment than a mechanical interlock. It is also tends to result in significantly less wear and tear because it has no contact with the actuator.
Magnetic safety switches from SICK can get up to performance level E, as long as you are using safety controls that have test pulses. The test pulses connect to the potential free contacts of the switch to reliably detect short circuits, either by using Flexi Soft or with ReLy safety relays.
RFID Non-Contact Safety Switches
RFID non-contact safety switches, like the STR1 from SICK, prevent manipulation of the guard. With magnetic non-contact safety switches like the RE series mentioned above, any actuator works with any sensor. That means someone could potentially carry a spare actuator with them to keep the door open while running the machine.
RFID safety switches achieve performance level e and an IP69K rating with a 14mm sensing range, providing it a higher tolerance. With this higher tolerance, you can even gain accurate detection with, for example, a door that has a gap between the door and frame where it closes. The larger the sensing range, the lower the chances are for false trips to make sure machinery does not stop unexpectedly.
Lastly, the STR1 offers flexibility in mounting and operation due to three sensing areas from both sides and front. The RE magnetic safety switches only have one sensing surface. There are also four different actuator options: standard, flat, compact, and mini.
Magnetic Locking RFID Non-Contact Safety Switches
The last type of non-contact safety switch is used for the same type of applications, but primarily fixes issues with people opening doors and stopping machines mid-process to create unwanted downtime and material waste. Magnetic locking RFID non-contact safety switches provide the benefits of RFID non-contact safety switches with the added benefit of an energized magnet to keep a door closed.
The MLP1 safety switch can help to prevent all of this from happening with a magnet that reaches 500N if energized or 25N if de-energized. A level of 25N will keep the door closed, even if the magnet isn’t energized. This switch provides enough force for process protection but does not guarantee people cannot open the door so it should not be used for people protection.
It has a high tolerance against misalignment, with a 5mm range in any direction. There is also a version with two pigtails for easy series connection that can be done without T-connectors. This is a unique feature to SICK’s MLP1 safety switch.
The MLP1 offers standard and integrated mounted options. The standard mounting option is simply surface mounting. An integrated mounting option can be mounted into the machine frame to keep it low profile. This is another unique feature exclusive to the MLP1.
In addition, the MLP1 has OSSD outputs that are monitored for short circuits, and it is a performance level e device, regardless of safety controls. It can also easily be wired in series with Flexi Loop more comprehensive diagnostics.
CIMTEC engineers are ready to help you choose the right safety switch for your facility. Call us and get a demo or find out more on SICK safety switches. 877.524.6832