Safety light curtain installation boosts productivity

A safety light curtain installation for a Cape Town-based non-metallic mineral product manufacturer resulted in operator efficiency improvement of almost 20%.

The manufacturer, IWT Abrasives, approached ElectroMechanica (EM) in 2019 for a system that would improve safety around its hydraulic press, and simultaneously enhance press productivity. This installation has continued to prove itself, two years later.

IWT specialises in the weaving and impregnation of glass fibre rovings used in the reinforcement of cutting and grinding wheels. Its hydraulic press shapes flexible material into the form of grinding disks. To operate the press, the operator uses two hand lever valves.

This mechanism ensures operator safety, but it slows throughput. A further concern for IWT was the high energy consumption of the hydraulic press due to its constantly operating hydraulic pump, which also heated the oil, reducing its lifespan. “IWT wanted a solution that would address these concerns while also improving operation productivity”, explains William Cameron, EM Product Manager. “We proposed our ReeR light curtains to replace the two hand lever safety mechanisms, which automatically and swiftly halts any press movement if the light beam is interrupted”.

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