Safety laser scanners have evolved over the years to provide advanced safety solutions

The safety of workers remains an important concern for plant managers as production facilities increasingly use automation solutions to improve plant productivity. There has been a greater demand for more advanced safety solutions due to stricter safety regulations being enforced. Safety solutions have evolved to meet that demand.

Safety Mats

A safety mat is a pressure sensitive device that operates using an open switch. When minimum weight is detected, the switch closes and a signal is sent to the mat controller. As a result, operation stops. However, this solution is subject to depreciation. As people walk over the mat, it will wear out over time. Since the invention of safety mats more than 60 years ago, safeguarding technologies for area guarding have continued to evolve to meet different needs. Safety laser scanners have largely taken the place of safety mats due to their multiple advantages.

Safety Laser Scanners

By the 1970s, the introduction of safety laser scanners – invented by SICK – provided a solution that ensured better protection at a minimum cost over time. The safety laser scanner is an electro-sensitive protective device (ESPE) which scans its surroundings two-dimensionally using infrared laser beams. With these beams, a protective field forms to guard a hazardous area. As soon as an object appears in the protective field, the safety laser scanner signals the detection. From Type 2 scanners to the introduction of Type 3 in the 1990s, safety laser scanners have continued to evolve.

The graphic below shows how safety laser scanners have changed over time.

Your workers and your plant deserve the best protection. Safety laser scanners have powerful advantages that may make them the right solution for your application. In order to help determine which solution you should use, download this white paper: Safety Laser Scanners vs. Safety Mats – Which One Do I Choose?