Rite-Hite Machine Guarding (ritehite.com) has updated its industry leading automated barrier door, the Defender, to protect employees from automated stretch-wrap machines as well as other robotic machine movement zones. The new door boasts patent-pending upgrades to its non-contact safety switch configuration, control systems and interlocking capabilities.

“Automated stretch wrap machines are a widely unprotected danger in distribution centers and warehouses across the country,” says Eric Esson, Rite-Hite Machine Guarding product manager. “In the absence of any real regulations regarding automated stretch-wrap machines, it is important to adhere to OSHA’s most basic guidelines by keeping all employees and potential bystanders safe during potentially dangerous operations.”

The Defender’s high-speed, high-cycle automated door safely separates machine operators and manufacturing processes. As more and more suppliers incorporate robots into wrapping processes, it becomes increasingly important to protect employees and pedestrians from coming into contact with the moving – and potentially dangerous – parts of those machines. With these suppliers adding other automatic functions to their floors (intelligent conveyors, AGVs and AS/RS systems), it’s critical that the safety methodology is similar to that of robotic welding cells and are compliant with RIA standards.

It also contains fumes, sparks, smoke, mist, flying debris, excess noise and other common manufacturing process by-products, making it ideal for robotic welding cells, automated assembly and palletizing/packing machinery. Additionally, the roll-up design leaves a minimal footprint into the typically crowded manufacturing cell.

The Defender automated barrier door features a host of innovations, including:

• PLe hold-down mechanism, which locks the door in “down” position to allow for machine “de-energizing” time.
• Redesigned rotary cam limit switch, encoder positioning and variable frequency drive, to control the curtain’s operating speed and position, dramatically improving the adjustability of door position, speed and control.
• Non-contact interlock switches, manufactured by Jokab, Pilz, Schmersal and Allen Bradley. These provide up to PLe specifications per EN ISO 13849-1 when integrated properly.
• Designed with new ISO 13849-1 specification and EN 10218-2 specifications in mind.

“The Defender is the most feature-rich automated barrier door ever manufactured by Rite-Hite Machine Guarding,” says Esson. “It takes into account all aspects of the new regulations and the demands of the industry as a whole. Given the new OSHA (ISO 13849-1) and RIA (EN 10218-1) regulations, it should appeal to a wider variety of industries than any of our previous automatic barrier doors, including new manufacturing processes and industrial applications including conveyors, industrial elevators and palletizing applications. Additionally, the Defender is a great alternative to light curtains and area scanners, going the extra step to contain the process.”