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Safety light curtain is ‘first to use industrial Ethernet protocol’

18 October, 2017

The Italian sensor manufacturer Datalogic has announced what it claims is the first light curtain that integrates with a high-performance, real-time and safe communication protocol based on industrial Ethernet – openSafety, which it describes as  “the most advanced and versatile protocol for functional safety on the automation market”. The SG4 Fieldbus curtain has a Powerlink Ethernet interface that makes it easy to integrate into existing networks and to communicate with safety controllers.

The light curtain, based on Datalogic’s existing SG4 family, includes finger (14mm), hand (30mm) and body protection, and can be used in any application where standard safety light curtains are used at present. It provides Type 4, pl e, SIL 3 protection.

“The SG4 Fieldbus safety light curtain opens new perspectives in the safety standards required in the Industry 4.0 model,” says Datalogic’s general manager for manufacturing industry, Cosimo Capuzzello. The new light curtain, he adds, is “capable of integrating the physical and the virtual world as outlined by the Industry 4.0 paradigm related to cyber-physical systems, intended to substantially improve industrial production processes, supply chains and product lifecycles within smart factories”.

The light curtain’s diagnostics are available to PLC and HMI systems. Any message can be read directly on an operator display, or on remote Web interfaces using simple text messages.

Datalogic's openSafety-compliant light curtain: fits into the Industry 4.0 paradigm

The light curtains connect to Powerlink via M12 connectors. The only set-up needed is the node number address; there are no DIP switches to configure. All of the parameters are stored in the safety PLC configuration, and predefined safety function blocks can be used in the PLC to manage functions such as auto/manual restart, external device monitoring, total or partial muting, auto dynamic muting, and fixed or floating blanking. 

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