Regardless of industry, product, or machine design, one thing remains constant – the need for safety. Every automation machine, big or small, contains mechanical and electrical components that can seriously injure or kill a person.
Depending on the complexity and size of the machine safety can include large fences, safety light curtains, and top-of-the-line laser area scanners. The one product they will all have is an emergency or safety stop switch.
These simple devices are designed to save lives. Power that energizes robots, conveyors and other potentially harmful equipment is routed through the switch. When the plunger is not engaged, the circuit is completed, and the machine operates normally. If an emergency occurs and the plunger is pressed, two physical actions occur:
- The circuit is interrupted, cutting off power from the equipment, and
- The button locks itself in its pressed state.
The last action is what makes an emergency stop different from a normal push button control. If the plunger did not lock in place, then the circuit could re-engage and energize the equipment. In the event someone was trapped in the machine then they could get seriously injured if the circuit were completed.
Along with the physical operation of these emergency switches, they are also designed to be easy to locate and use. If any passerby were to witness an accident about to occur, they could easily locate the large bright red plunger and know to press it.
Regardless of the complexity of the machine or technology used to create a safety system, one component will always be used – emergency stop switches. MISUMI offers a variety of brands designed to be integrated into your machine including Murrelektronik and Omron. Each operates under the same basic design and is intended to save lives.
If you need help selecting the right safety switch for your machine, visit our website to learn more about our selection of products.