Inside Logistics

Guard makes automation safer

Automated barrier door and steel fencing form safety cell around robotic processes


March 2, 2016
by MM&D Online Staff

image003MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin—Rite-Hite’s Machine Guarding Defender Cell restricts access and provides point-of-operation guarding around potentially dangerous automated and automatic processes including stretch-wrap machine operations. It incorporates perimeter safety products—Rite-Hite’s RoboGuard steel-wire fencing and point-of-operation guarding with a high-speed, automated barrier door, the Defender—into one four-sided safety cell.

“Automated processes are making distribution centres and warehouses more efficient, but a lack of regulations makes certain applications a widely unprotected danger,” says Eric Esson, Rite-Hite Machine Guarding product manager.

Constructed of eight-gauge welded steel wire, RoboGuard effectively restricts workers and bystanders from entering dangerous work spaces where machinery might be moving. The fencing is customizable to accommodate various applications and designs.

The Defender’s high-speed, high-cycle automated door separates machine operators and manufacturing processes at the point-of–operation, while also allowing safe and easy access to the process cell once it has powered down.

Additionally, the roll-up design leaves a small physical footprint. As more suppliers incorporate robots into daily operations – automatic stretch-wrapping, robotic palletizing and automated conveyors – it’s critical that the safety methodologies used are similar to that of other robotic processes and are compliant with applicable standards.

“Companies don’t have to sacrifice efficiency in the name safety,” says Esson. “The Defender Cell is proof that potentially dangerous automated processes can be made safer.”