OMRON to Launch New Safety Light Curtain with World's First Position Detection Muting Function, along with Setting Tools


Kyoto, Japan, December 6, 2005 – OMRON Corporation (TSE: 6645; US: OMRNY), a global leader in automation, sensing and control technologies, announced today that its Industrial Automation Company (IAB) would launch the following new products in the Japanese market on December 7, 2005.

Products to be launched:
Model F3SJ-A Ver. 2 Safety Light Curtain
Model F39-GWUM PC Tool “SD Manager” for the F3SJ
Model F39-MC21 Setting Console for the F3SJ

Main Features of the F3SJ-A Ver. 2 Safety Light Curtain

  1. Reason for Revision of Dividend Forecast

    The muting function temporarily disables the light curtain when a workpiece, conveyance pallet or other item passes through its detection zone. OMRON’s F3SJ-A Ver. 2 offers two new capabilities for this muting function.

    (A) Muting function with position detection capability (world’s first)
    In the past, for applications in which the operator must install a workpiece to his equipment for processing, it was difficult to install a light curtain because it could not distinguish between a situation where the operator was temporarily blocking the light curtain’s detection zone when installing a workpiece, or a situation in which an operator had mistakenly entered the hazardous area when processing was in progress. To cope with this situation, the F3SJ-A Ver. 2’s muting function incorporates position detection capability – the first of its kind in the world. Instead of determining the start and end point of muting through the detection of a workpiece (or human) as was done previously, the new muting function uses a limit switch or sensor to detect a machine/robot position signal that determines whether the processing machine or robot (sources of danger) is in a safe condition (or stopped) or in a hazardous condition with the machine/robot in motion or with processing underway. This makes it possible to disable the light curtain only when the equipment is in a safe condition – the world’s first muting function with position detection. This in turn enables the use of a light curtain for safety protection even when the operator has to install a workpiece on the equipment.

    (B) Partial muting function
    Conventional muting functions disable all sensing beams when a workpiece is detected passing through the detection zone. OMRON’s new partial muting function enables specified optical axes to be disabled by muting, keeping optical axes that are unrelated to the workpiece passage active even during muting. The use of this partial muting function minimizes the risk of being unable to detect human access to the dangerous area, which is coincidental with the passage of a workpiece, leading to further enhanced machine safety.

  2. New warning zone setting function (world’s first)

    The F3SJ-A Ver. 2 makes it possible to divide the light curtain’s detection zone into two areas: the machine stop area and a warning area. With this new function, the light curtain can be installed horizontally so as to first issue an alarm when the operator approaches the dangerous area and then stop the machine only if the operator further approaches the dangerous area. This helps reduce compromised machine operability due to temporary stops caused by the operation of the light curtain.

  3. Blanking function added

    In cases where a part of the machine is always inside the detection zone of the safety light curtain, there was previously a problem in that the safety output was consistently kept off due to the presence of certain optical axes for which beams are consistently obstructed, which in turn made it impossible to start the equipment. To solve this problem, the F3SJ-A Ver. 2 features a new blanking function that can disable detection for beams which are constantly blocked; and turn off output only when more than the specified number of beams is obstructed.

Features of the F39-GWUM PC Tool “SD Manager”

The SD Manager is a tool for setting parameter configurations of the new functions incorporated in the F3SJ-A Ver. 2 safety light curtain or monitoring the status of functions with a personal computer. The light curtain can be connected to a PC via a dedicated interface cable. Connection requires a USB terminal on the PC side and a dedicated cable branch connector on the safety light curtain side. The SD Manager application software for Windows provides function selections, parameter settings and the monitoring of function status. Besides setups for safety applications, such as muting, warning area setting and blanking, a variety of other functions are included to reduce labor requirements for installation and maintenance of the safety light curtain, including the following:

  1. Incident light level indicator

    When installing the safety light curtain, the optical axes of the emitter and receiver must be aligned with each other. Since the safety sensor uses infrared light for its emitting element, this alignment can be very difficult and time-consuming, especially if the emitter and receiver are some distance apart from each other. The incident light level indicator provides an at-a-glance indication of the amount of received light for each optical axis by means of a bar graph, enabling easy and accurate optical axis alignment.

  2. Interference light level indicator

    Bar graph indication also shows the amount of interference light, which can cause malfunction of the safety light curtain.

  3. Error log display

    The safety light curtain is equipped with error indicator lights used for troubleshooting. The SD Manager gives more detailed information regarding the fault status along with a log of problems that have occurred in the past. Possible causes of errors and countermeasures are simultaneously displayed, contributing to the reduction of labor required to restore the light curtain to its normal state in case of a fault.

Features of the F39-MC21 Setting Console

The F39-MC21 setting console provides all settings and monitoring for newly added functions incorporated in the F3SJ-A Ver. 2 safety light curtain. This handy unit is especially convenient when it is difficult to bring a PC into the light curtain installation area or for quick function setups and monitoring.

Main Applications

Detection of finger/hand/limb/body access to openings in automobiles/automotive components assembly/manufacturing lines, machine tools, metal processing machines, conveyor machines, packaging machines and molding machines; as well as human entry inside guard fences installed in an industrial robot moving area

Sales Target :Model F3SJ-A Ver. 2: 50,000 units/year during initial year

Production Facility : OMRON Corporation Ayabe Factory

Main Specifications and Performance Ratings of the F3SJ-A Ver. 2 Safety Light Curtain

Item (PNP type) (NPN type) Model Model F3SJ-A・・・・P14 Model F3SJ-A・・・・N14 Model F3SJ-A・・・・N20 Model F3SJ-A・・・・P30 Model F3SJ-A・・・・P30 Model F3SJ-A・・・・N30
Optical beam gap 9mm 15mm 25mm
Number of beams 26 to 180 16 to 166 10 to 100
Protective height 245 to 1631mm 245 to 2495mm 245 to 2495mm
Detection capability Opaque materials: φ14mm Opaque materials: φ20mm Opaque materials: φ30mm
Effective aperture angle (EAA) Conforms to IEC61496-2. ±2.5° max. when both the emitter and receiver have a detection distance of 3m or more.
Light source (emitted light wavelength) Infrared LED (wavelength: 870nm)
Power supply voltage (Vs) DC24V±20% (ripple p-p 10% max.)
Control outputs (OSSD) PNP (or NPN) transistor output x 2; load current: 300mA max.; residual voltage: 2V max. (excl. voltage drop due to cord extension)
Other outputs Auxiliary output x 2, external indicator light output x 2
Output mode Control outputs: ON with incident light
Other outputs: Programmable with setting tool
Test functions Self test (after power ON and during operation) External test (light emitting stop by test input)
Safety-related functions Start/restart interlock, external relay monitor, muting, fixed blanking, floating blanking
Series-connection Number of light curtains connectable: up to 4 sets; total number of beams: up to 400
Mutual interference prevention function Interference light prevention algorithm, detection distance change function
Protective circuit Output load short-circuit protection, reversed polarity protection
Response time (stand-alone) ON to OFF: 10ms to 22.5ms max.; OFF to ON: 40ms to 100ms max. For details, refer to the Instruction Manual.
Start-up time after power ON (stand-alone) 2s max.
Degree of protection IP65 (IEC60529)
Connection method Via connectors (M12, 8-pin)
Compatible standards IEC61496-1, EN61496-1, UL61496-1: Type 4 ESPE (Electro-Sensitive Protective Equipment) IEC61496-2, prEN61496-2, UL61496-2: Type 2 AOPD (Active Opto-electronic Protective Devices) IEC61508, EN61508: SIL3
For media related enquiries, please contact:
Fumihiko Misumi
Product Development Department
Safety Devices Division
Industrial Automation Company
Phone: +81-75-344-7093

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