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Trusted, reliable machine safety solutions – No need for a song and dance

31 May 2019

Banner Engineering has been producing safety light screens for more than five decades. The success of this product continues with the recently launched SLC4 and LP models. To complement the range the company also offers a comprehensive range of safety controllers, safety interlocks, two-hand controls and emergency stop buttons.

Safety products are an important part of Banner’s product portfolio and as such are subject to a consistent and continuous development process. Given that there can never be any compromise on safety the challenge for the company’s development team is to always produce reliable, cost-efficient solutions.

One of the more prolific developments recently has been in the Safety Controller & Relay Range –

SC10 Series Safety Controllers

Designed for smaller machines, the easy to use SC10 safety controller replaces the functionality of two or more safety relay modules and features an intuitive user interface with advanced diagnostic capabilities. Significant inventory savings can be achieved with the SC10, as it supports a wide range of safety devices, eliminating the need to buy and stock safety relay modules dedicated to specific safety devices.

Each unit has two 6-amp relay outputs with three normally open sets of contacts, enabling the creation of independent safety zones with unique outputs for different safety functions. It has 10 inputs, including 4 inputs that can be converted to outputs for more efficient terminal use. Automatic Terminal Optimisation (ATO) makes it possible to increase the number of available inputs from 10 up to 14 to accommodate additional devices. Industrial Ethernet two-way communication enables 256 virtual non-safety status outputs and 80 virtual non-safety inputs (reset, on/off, cancel off-delay, mute enable).

Set-up and management of the SC10 could not be simpler, thanks to its clear, icon-based programming with drag-and-drop PC configuration. The unit has an external drive (SC-XM3) that can be used to configure the SC10 in seconds without a PC. Users simply create and confirm a configuration using the safety controller software, then write the configuration to the SC-XM3 and insert it into the micro USB port of the SC10. The configuration, network settings, and passwords automatically download to the SC10. The configuration can be applied to multiple SC10 safety controllers to get machines up and running quickly, or to a single unit for an easy swap out in the field.

SR-IM Series Safety Relays

These cost-effective interface modules provide isolated safety output contacts for safety light curtains or similar primary safety devices, with solid-state or hard contact outputs and external device monitoring (EDM) capability. They can be used to expand the available outputs of a safety controller and increase the switching current capacity of low voltage safety devices up to 6 amps.

Encased in a 22.5mm DIN-rail-mountable housing, models are available with three normally open (NO) safety outputs, or two normally open (NO) safety outputs and one normally closed (NC) non-safety auxiliary output.

With 24V dc operation and a 20-millisecond maximum response time these modules can achieve up to SIL 3 (IEC 61508/IEC 62061) and Category 4, PLe (EN ISO 13849-1).

SX5 Safety Laser Scanner

The culmination of years of developing laser sensors, the SX5 safety laser scanner is one of the most exciting products produced by Banner in recent years.

SX5 safety laser scanners protect personnel, equipment, and mobile systems within a user-defined area. They continuously scan a 275° area to create a two-dimensional protected zone that must be crossed to reach the hazard. They are suitable for horizontal, vertical, and mobile applications.

The SX5 is easy to configure in a few simple steps using safety scanner software. A big plus feature of the SX5 is its flexibility in setting safety and warning zones. Users can individually define up to six safety zones and two warning zones using a PC. These can be set to effectively match the shape of any work area. A safety zone range of up to 5.5m at 70mm resolution or up to 3m at 40mm resolution is possible. A warning zone range of up to 40m is also selectable.

The SX5 offers best-in-class immunity to dust, dirt and light interference, whilst its multi-segment colour display and 5 LED indicators provide at-a-glance system status information.

Safety Switches

Safety switches monitor doors, gates and other movable physical guards that separate personnel from a hazard. They will send a signal to the machine control system if the guard is opened, removed or is out of position. The comprehensive range from Banner includes non-contact, hinge, mechanical and locking type switches.

A recent development in the non-contact range is the introduction of the SI-RF Series of safety switches that utilise RFID technology. 

SI-RF switches are available in single or cascadable types, allowing a series connection of up to 32 sensors using a standard 4-wire cable with M12 connectors, T-adapters, and an end plug. In-Series Diagnostics (ISD) provides users with data from each sensor in the chain. 

With the pressures of modern production, machine operators are sometimes tempted to defeat safety switches to increase output. However, with the SI-RF Series customers can choose the level of tamper resistance depending on the hazard. 

• Low – The safety switch accepts any SI-RF-A actuator. 

• High – The safety switch only accepts the last taught actuator (maximum of 12 teach-in processes are possible). 

• Unique – The safety switch only accepts the taught actuator (only one teach-in process is possible). 

The SI-RF Series achieves Cat 4, PL e, or SIL CL 3 safety ratings alone or in a cascade chain. The rugged IP69 construction withstands exposure to high-pressure, high-temperature wash-down. The high tolerance (10mm) to misalignment enables reliable performance in extremely challenging industrial environments where machine vibration and impact are possible.

When it comes to machine safety, customers need to know that the products on offer are the result of many years of care and painstaking development by the manufacturer. Reliable, cost effective solutions are achievable without compromising safety


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