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SICK UK innovative new light curtain breaks new safety barriers

AWARD-winning design technology from SICK UK is extending the frontiers of light curtain safety performance to wide new applications with the launch of the miniTwin 4. For the first time, sender and receiver elements are combined in a single miniature housing and the miniTwin 4 achieves continuous "end to end" field coverage with no blind spots.

SICK UK Safety Specialist Seb Strutt says: "The miniTwin’s ground-breaking capability is already creating excitement internationally because it solves applications where traditional light curtains would be too big and awkward to install, and do not offer as much value for the performance. It means light curtain protection can be extended to a wide range of new applications and configurations."

The new modular SICK miniTwin 4 units are 120mm – 1200mm long and can be cascaded or daisy chained end to end to 3600mm without any blind spots. Rapid response times permit safety monitoring with reduced reach distances for operators and therefore smaller machine footprints. Field coverage is continuous between adjacent units without loss of resolution or requiring special mountings or physical protection between curtains.

The miniTwin 4 units may be configured to protect L- shapes, V-shapes or even U-shapes, combining easy access to a work piece or to change tool bits or jigs, while offering complete protection. They are ideal where all round accessibility and visibility is required which is otherwise restricted by fixed barriers. Variable field lengths are possible to suit locations.

Each miniTwin 4 unit includes both send and receive functions and the inbuilt controls and LED status indication means any 2 identical units operate as light curtain, without any requirement for an extra control unit; a unique feature for this size of light curtain allowing spares to be stocked as single units rather than in send/receive pairs.

The miniTwin 4’s range of up to 4 metres, slim 15mm by 32mm cross-section and choice of three object resolutions from 14 to 34 mm, offer the best combination of safety to suit the application and work practice.

Configuration and alignment tools of the miniTwin 4 are automatic and built in, with full status and diagnostic LED displays. The universal fixing brackets ensure rapid secure installation, for instance to standard aluminium profile, and the rotating connector with standard M12 5-pin plug will accommodate any orientation.

The miniTwin 4 is designed to meet performance level pl "e" according to BS EN13849-1, or alternatively SIL3 in compliance with IEC 61508 or the sector standard BS EN62061.

In 2009 the miniTwin 4 has already won international accolades, winning both reddot and IF design awards.

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