Sensors & Transducers

Light curtain for production machines

July 2005 Sensors & Transducers

The Merlin light curtain is a solid-state electro-optical switch intended for use as a control device on production machines. Merlin produces and checks an invisible network of closely spaced, pulsed, infrared light beams between separate transmitter and receiver columns. As long as conditions are normal and all beams are received, the output relay contacts remain closed. If any beam is not found, they open, thereby stopping the machine and protecting the operator.

The standard Merlin consists of a control and a set of columns (one transmitter and one receiver) and a set of interconnecting cables. The Merlin will also accept multiple sets of columns per control box to protect more than one side. Thus, there is the benefit of reducing the cost for an application like guarding straight-side presses, etc.

The 'T' series transmitter has indicators that are more visible and there is one LED for each state and operation mode.

* The green 'safe' LED.

* The red 'hazard' LED.

* The amber 'mute/interlock' LED.

* The blue 'blanking' LED.

The universal mounting bracket is versatile and easy to use. It is used for the MT series columns and the new mirror assemblies. The bracket can be installed in many set positions by the pre-slotted grooves at 0, 45, 90, 270°. This makes the installation very easy (see picture).

This more robust 'T' series design offers the following features:

* Class 4 safety system.

* Rugged aluminium extrusion housing (51 x 44,5 mm).

* Circuit boards produced with surface mount technology provide compact size as well as a high degree of reliability.

* Metallic connectors and columns, controllers and cables.

* Red indicator LEDs at each photocell on the receiver.

* Mechanical locking tabs between each 153 mm internal circuit board for high-shock applications, while also providing for field serviceability.

* Each column has a small 51 mm master circuit board at the bottom, therefore allowing every 153 mm internal optical circuit board within a transmitter or a receiver column respectively to be totally interchangeable slave boards.

The connector for the columns is a heavy-duty military connector. The cable snaps into a locked position when inserted and cannot be incorrectly orientated (the picture shows the systems hardware, with a close-up of the military connector on the RHS). Transmitter and receiver cables are interchangeable. (The connector can be seen in the picture above.) The MT columns are backwards compatible, but a special cable is required.

For more information contact Gail Norton, 031 701 4861.


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