Metal sheet profiling factory. New modern roll forming machine.

A machinery engineering and manufacturing company specializing in roll forming machinery and tooling needed to upgrade its system for protecting workers in the vicinity of its purlin stacker. This type of machine handles and stacks extremely large, heavy steel purlins as they come off the end of a steel forming line so that the product can be offloaded by a forklift operator.

There are many hazards associated with purlin stackers, including multiple heavy-duty, high-load, sprocket-driven chain conveyors, high-load scissor lifts, high-force pneumatic and electromechanical positioning actuators and an array of large-horsepower AC motor-driven drive shafts. All of these components work to position and stack the large steel purlins as they emerge from the forming line.

As if adequately addressing the safety of this equipment was not enough, every second of downtime corresponds to fewer purlins produced, which means less revenue to plant operations. Consequently, the old days of configuring an E-stop circuit to shut the entire process down are long gone. Today, multiple safety devices of various types guard the machine and feed into a safety controller that controls the entire process.

The Solution: Flexible light curtain technology

The Need

The customers' purlin stacker required a protected range of 55 feet, with cascading and fixed blanking around machine footings in one package -- and easy to configure and commission.

The Technology

The Omron range of F3SG-SR  light curtain covered the requisite distance and effectively operating through dust and dirt buildup. Intelligent Tap cut guesswork in set up.

The Outcome

The customer was impressed with the F3SG-SR’s advanced features, setup and configuration tools. The allowable beams feature helped avoid unnecessary installation-related trips.