Fortress Interlocks explains how its new tGard customisable safety system can be applied to the safeguarding or robotic palletiser cells and other hazardous machinery.
Fortress Interlocks' new tGard customisable safety system controls access to hazardous machinery and equipment. Whatever the application, tGard has the flexibility to be configured to the customer's needs. Housed in a metal body, tGard accepts elements (components or modules) to create an overall assembled product that is easily mounted onto machine guarding.
Customers choose which elements are necessary. If you need a standalone emergency stop, you can have it; if the application requires a trapped key interlock to control access, you can have it; if a safety gate switch is needed (solenoid or non‐solenoid), you can have it; and if that gate switch needs machine control buttons integrated, then that is also possible. tGard is built to suit customer needs with almost unlimited configurations.
tGard for palletisers
tGard is well suited to safeguarding workers in the packaging industry. Modern automated packaging machines often use robots to handle bigger payloads by picking up complete layers of product for packing. The main danger associated with palletisers is the lack of visibility; a maintenance person can go into the guarded area to undertake work and, if he is underneath the machine, he may not be seen. The door can easily be closed and the machine restarted with him inside, resulting in possible injury or death. EN safety standards recommend the use of safety interlocks to protect workers from the dangers of palletising machines.
Due to its flexibility, tGard can be configured to safeguard the palletiser in a number of ways. tGard can include a solenoid controlled interlock on the guard door. This uses trapped keys to control access, thereby preventing potentially dangerous situations by ensuring actions are undertaken in a pre‐determined sequence. Once the solenoid has been energised, the operator uses a uniquely coded key in the door lock to shut down the machine and release the door; he then takes the released key with him into the area, thereby preventing the door from being closed and the machine starting up again. Machine control additions, such as 'request to enter' and 'restart' pushbuttons can also be integrated into the tGard body to create an efficient, integrated system.
EN ISO 14119, the international machinery safety standard for guard interlocks, states that if there is a risk of a person becoming trapped behind closed guards, an emergency escape is needed. tGard therefore features an internal release element. If an operator inside the guarded area needs to exit through another door in the cell because his first option is blocked, the operator pushes the tGard Internal Release inside the cell and is granted immediate access out of the area and away from danger.
tGard - flexible machine access control
The above example shows how tGard can be used for robotic palletisers, but tGard is very versatile and is suitable for applications in many different kinds of machine in a wide range of industries, from pharmaceuticals to electronics and automotive.
Along with its flexibility, tGard offers several benefits. It offers a combination of access and control features, such as gate switches, trapped key interlocks and operator control buttons, all in one unit. It is simple and robust, and future‐proof because additional elements can be retrofitted at a later stage.
tGard is also easy to install, as it only requires two fixings; if the 'Quick Disconnect' version is selected, then the device comes pre‐wired and the installer simply connects the cable, thereby reducing the installation time significantly in comparison to other systems on the market. tGard has been designed to be fully compliant with the new machinery safety standards.
Follow the link to download a brochure for the new tGard customisable safety system (1.3MB PDF).