The Machinery Directive stipulates machinery should not present a risk. Since there is no such thing as zero risk, the aim is to achieve an acceptable residual risk. If safety is dependent on control systems, these must be designed so as to minimise the effect of a malfunction. Safety technology in automation minimises the risk of damage to persons or installations. The ifm product range comprises a multitude of safety products including electro-sensitive protective equipment (ESPE), door switches, actuators and control systems.
Unlike conventional safety switches, inductive safety sensors directly detect metal – without requiring a special target. Safety light curtains and safety light grids are used where hazardous areas must be secured. They are optoelectronic safety devices consisting of one transmitter and one receiver and conform to the safety requirements of type 2/SIL 1 or type 4/SIL 3.
AS-i door switches with guard locking have the function to keep moving protective equipment such as protective grating, protective guards and other covers closed as long as a dangerous state is present. The safe mushroom-headed E-stop buttons and other protective switches force a machine or installation to stop or shut down in a hazardous situation. ifm fail-safe sensors and operating elements can be connected to any safety evaluation unit, e.g. to safety relays, programmable logic modules or safe controllers.
Safety components can easily be incorporated into an AS-i network via AS-Interface Safety at Work. Signals from standard units and safe components are transmitted via a common cable. For direct installation in vehicles or mobile machines, ifm provides a powerful, freely programmable 32-bit safety controller.
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