Explaining and informing a request to enter machine guarding safety system
A request to enter machine guarding safety system is a system restricting operator access to the hazardous zones until the area and / or machine is free from any moving parts and the stored energy deenergized. This will ensure the area is clear of any pinch points, shear points, and crush points relying on machine controls vs the operator decision making process.
Typically a modular machine guarding door or access panel is equipped with a locking solenoid safety interlock switch. A request to enter button is then installed into the circuit to notify the machine to finish its cycle and grant the operator access. Once this has been executed, then the machine will send a signal to the locking solenoid switch and unlock the door or access panel. This can be achieved several ways. One is in a timer-based system, engaging a timer within a safety controller which is based on the machine stop time. Another method is installing encoders on the machine and monitoring for a zero-speed condition.
These systems can be found on any perimeter guarding or machine enclosures where the machine doesn’t stop instantly when the emergency stop button is engaged, such as stamping and punch presses, robotic work cells, extruders, coil slitting machines, web converting equipment to name a few.
Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.
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