Types of protective devices for machines and systems
Depending on the hazard situation and the particular situation on site, protective devices are divided into certain classes. Protective devices are differentiated in detail as follows:
Separating protective devices are clearly visible, for example by means of grid walls fitted with lockable doors. In this way, the danger areas of machines are protected for people by making them inaccessible. At the same time, such separating protective devices have certain protective functions for expensive machines by protecting them from accidental damage, for example by forklift trucks, through their physical barriers. The geometric design of such guards is precisely defined in ISO 13857.
Sometimes it is necessary for people to have frequent access to existing danger points of machines. For this reason, non-contact protective devices in the form of light barriers are used in such cases.
- Access-restricting, adjustable guards
Such protective devices are used when sources of danger from machines cannot be completely covered over complete work cycles. This is the case, for example, when operating circular saws. Shortly before the part to be sawn touches the running saw blade, the protective device of the saw blade is raised, thus enabling the sawing process.
Machine tools and their guards
Machine tools are often equipped with horizontally movable Plexiglas panels enclosed in metal frames. This type of guard is often found on machining centres and automatic lathes. The Plexiglas panels cover the running spindles during machining operations. On the one hand, this protects the operating personnel from dangerous contact with the rotating work spindle and, on the other hand, the Plexiglas panel prevents coolant and lubricant from spraying out of the machine. Machine bed and spindle guides are often protected against premature wear by telescopic covers that can be pushed together to prevent wear caused by chips and by coolant or lubricant.
Guarding with mesh partitions
Common uses for mesh partitions are in logistical areas such as warehouses and conveyor belts. Mesh partitions
can be assembled according to a modular system and individually designed according to local requirements. Lockable doors can also be installed at suitable points.Mesh partitions are widely applied as separating protective devices to meet the required safety needs.
The technical necessity of protective devices results on the one hand from the requirements of the legislator in accordance with the provisions under the DGUV and the BetrSichV. On the other hand, it is in the company's own interest to ensure that employees are adequately protected against accidents at work by means of protective equipment.Thanks to flexible modular systems, it is possible to assemble protective equipment using mesh partitions in a wide range of variations. In this way, protective equipment on machines and systems can be implemented quickly and flexibly in most cases without costly special constructions.
As a separating protective device, mesh partitions represent a physical barrier to existing sources of danger. For this reason, they are only used where direct contact between people and these sources of danger is rarely necessary.