For Safe Material Flow Processes: Differentiating Humans and Material Reliably

Exit monitoring for safe human-material differentiation as well as guaranteeing utmost plant availability by fast diagnosis in case of malfunction – both functions are combined in the muting solution of the M4000 Advanced product family.

In combination with the UE403 safety switching device and application-specific muting accessories, the system is capable of monitoring access to hazardous areas and at the same time allowing material transports through the protective field.

The M4000 Advanced multiple light beam safety device with the “exit monitoring” function was developed for applications in which the material transport to be protected takes place only in one direction, out of the storage area. In this arrangement, the two muting sensors are located in a sheltered place within the hazardous area – additional muting sensors located outside are no longer necessary. This saves time and costs when commissioning and eliminates the danger of misalignment of the muting sensors during ongoing operations, since they are installed in a protected place within the hazardous area. In addition, this approach significantly reduces the space requirements in the facility’s outlet zone.

The extended diagnostic means of the M4000 Advanced provide for even higher plant availability and transparency concerning the monitoring functions and muting processes. Thus, it is now possible to represent, free of losses, any errors occurring in muting processes for all signals engaged in the muting cycle. This representation can be saved in a file by means of the data recording function and it ensures swift and well-directed troubleshooting. As well, an additional staggered functional diagnosis is also possible: to this end, the M4000 Advanced saves the last shutdowns of the system in an event history. This makes it possible to recognize errors in the muting sequence, to optimize processes, and to minimize downtimes in the material flow.

Similar to other electro-sensitive protective equipment, the task of the M4000 Advanced is detecting entry into the hazardous area of machines during operation and shutting them off immediately. However, in order to nevertheless enable a material transport, e.g. into a strapping machine or into or out of a hoisting system, it is possible to bridge the active protective device temporarily by using additional sensor signals. In the course of this so-called muting, the temporal and logical sequence of signals is evaluated and monitored by muting sensors, e.g. photoelectric sensors. This method helps achieve safe human-material differentiation.


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