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Smart modular interlocks
09 September 2020
SPECIALIST IN safety engineering and pioneer of the RFID Safety Switch, Euchner has recently added new Modular and Classic variants to its Multifunctional Gate Box (MGB), which was launched to provide a totally integrated locking and handle solution.
The MGB2 Modular and MGB2 Classic offer more variations, additional functions, different networking options and intelligent communication features, such as comprehensive diagnostic data, ultimately resulting in reduced equipment downtime and increased productivity. These new versions build on the success of the company’s original MGB system, which has been protecting safety doors and guarding within manufacturing facilities for over a decade, enabling the prompt identification of faults and keeping employees safe from dangerous machine movements.
Because of the MGB2’s modular design it can easily accommodate future upgrades to equipment, installations and production lines, reducing the cost of excessive downtime and/or purchasing an entire new locking unit. The new variants are suitable for a wide variety of sectors, such as automotive, packaging, pharmaceuticals and food processing, to name just a few.
With a combination of a safety switch, bolt, escape release and door locking mechanism rolled into one, the MGB2 is reported to be a class-leading solution for machinery guarding; however, no two safety applications are the same. Some production processes need an integrated emergency stop to safely stop the processes, while others need additional request and acknowledgement buttons fitted directly onto the safety door. The new MGB2 Modular and Classic solutions can be easily adapted to meet the requirements for integrated operator controls and indication.
David Dearden, Euchner’s UK&I country manager, explained that the flexibility offered by the latest modular gate boxes is unique in the marketplace. Using less physical cabling, this new generation of MGB multifunctional safety door systems reduce the design and installation time of new equipment and also allow subsequent machine modifications or expansions to be implemented efficiently.
He added: “The original MGB handle system has been a great success for Euchner over the past 10 years and although it has not been discontinued, the new series takes all the great features and benefits of this previous range and adds in maximum flexibility, hot-swappable components and a simpler networking topology. With the modular versions all the operator controls like emergency-stops and enabling switches can easily be plugged in and out of the unit, making it a very functional and flexible system. The MGB2 is more than just pure safety door protection.”
MGB2 Modular uses Fieldbus connections such as PROFINET PROFIsafe to communicate all the safety, non-safety and diagnostic signals to the main controller. It also includes a built-in web-server to allow straightforward interrogation of the unit without having to have specialist software or programming knowledge. The locking modules can be equipped with controls such as pushbuttons, selector switches, key-operated rotary switches or emergency stop buttons as needed. Submodules allow up to six different control elements in the locking module, which can be replaced with the minimum of disruption due to their hot-pluggable features. Add-on expansion modules are available where additional user-controls are required, possibly eliminating the need for separate localised operator control stations.
Only one Fieldbus module is required for up to six locking modules, a considerable advantage over its predecessor for communicating both safety and control signals. Besides fewer devices, the user also requires less on-machine cabling and PLC I/Os, ultimately saving on costly failsafe PLC capacity in the control system. If space is limited, the bus node can simply be installed remotely in another suitable location.
Unlike the fieldbus variant, the MGB2 Classic version does not communicate via a bus system but is hard-wired directly to the relevant control system – making it the ideal solution for non-networked installations. The system features two OSSD safety outputs, provides continuous diagnostic information via multiple signalling outputs and can be connected in series with up to 10 devices, saving costs on expensive evaluation devices or safety I/O.
Euchner’s new generation MGB2 failsafe door locking systems for machine guarding combine design expertise, renowned German quality, speed of installation and diagnostic detail, backed up with a substantial stock holding in the UK to ensure the company can always meet customer demands with short turnaround times.