SMART Safety Sensor SRF for Smart Factories

Switched on industrial safety technology provider Bernstein AG’s latest product represents a really smart safety move at a time when the ongoing merging of automation and IT see Industry 4.0 move from vision to reality.
The company, based on the Westgate Park Industrial Estate in Aldridge, Walsall, has introduced the non-contact Smart Safety Sensor SRF, to protect those working in Smart Factories from injury.
The SRF – an abbreviation of Safety RFID – is an especially compact sensor which monitors moveable separating protective equipment such as flaps, doors and protection hoods.
If, for any reason, these separating safety devices fail to close properly, the SRF immediately shuts down machines and equipment – or prevents them from starting.
In developing this new product, Bernstein has paid particular attention to the diagnostic system accompanying the sensor which provides a large amount of data, making it available centrally and flexibly as an aid to intelligent production.
“This feature is currently the only one on the market,” says Bernstein’s Managing Director Rob Emms.
Diagnostic data is fed into the machine control system via I/O Link or, alternatively, displayed on a smart phone via NFC technology. In this way 20 different items of diagnostic information can be retrieved and made available for each sensor – also when connected in a series.
“Data collected in this manner can be used for convenient cost-effective predictive maintenance based on early fault detections, sometimes preventing a costly shutdown,” explains Rob.
If the power supply fails, a fault memory via NFC covers the troubleshooting. If a fault is detected at an emergency output, an emergency mode also offers the option to power the machine down in a controlled way before an emergency shutdown is triggered. This prevents any damage to tools or work pieces.
Series connection of the sensor system is supported by a 4-core standard unshielded cable, avoiding the unnecessary extra cost of accessories. In compliance with ISO 14119, the SRF has a type 4 locking system.
“Our smart Sensor SRF is ideal for use in any location where safety switches (type 2) or sensors (type 4) are fitted for machine safety,” Says Rob.  “Consequently, the SRF is ideally suited for utilisation scenarios involving, to name but a few,” packaging machines and equipment, woodworking machines, turning and milling machines, food processing machines and injection moulding machines.”
Bernstein AG is a leading international developer and manufacturer of switches, sensors, housing and support arm systems, employing over 560 people in 10 different countries.
A family-owned and managed business now in its 71st year, Bernstein perceives Industry 4.0 as the consistent and increased use of digital information for improving product and process quality and ultimately machine efficiency and manufactures products that provide the diagnostic data required for achieving this objective. It also enables users to visualise all the necessary data on the shop floor, where they are needed.
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