To further promote safety technology, Panasonic not only focuses on quality, but also on new and innovative technologies which are not yet established in the markets. This comprises not only of established functions such as Fixed and Floating Blanking, Muting, and the Extraneous Light Check & Avoid (ELCA) function, but also ground-breaking housing materials. Besides the more traditional aluminium housings, Panasonic’s range of Class 4 Safety products comprises of safety light guards with housings made from polycarbonate, as well as from a combination of polycarbonate and aluminium.

Did you know that safety class 4 of light guards can be achieved also with polycarbonate housings?

The cost-efficient and very lightweight light guards made from polycarbonate (safety class 4) can be mounted on machines where there is none or hardly any mechanical stresses, such as blow, shock or vibration, expected. The result of the small dimensions and the polycarbonate housing is to further reduce the weight of the safety light guards and to enlarge the protected entry area. Since the stability of the product varies depending on the housing material, Panasonic offers three different series of safety light guards made from aluminium, polycarbonate and a combination of polycarbonate and aluminium. A new and excellent pricing strategy from Panasonic now gives the customer the opportunity to test Panasonic’s new class polycarbonate safety light guards as well as the more robust light guards manufactured from aluminium.


SF4B safety light guards with an aluminium housing

The SF4B series is characterized by more than 40 different models and a modular expandability. They conform to EN 61496-1 /-2 with the performance level PLe according to EN ISO 13849 and are available with three different detection resolutions (10mm, 20mm, and 40mm) and in many different protection heights. The flexibility of the series means it offers a variety of accessories ensuring the end user can adapt the product to their specific requirement. The design concept of the SF4B series is such that no “dead” zone is present in the design of each guard ensuring the height of the light guard and the protective height are identical.  The ELCA (Extraneous Light Check & Avoid) function means influences of extraneous light and interferences from other light guards can be avoided, severely reducing unnecessary stops in production and enhancing productivity.


SF4C: Safety light guards with a polycarbonate housing

When developing the SF4C series with a pure polycarbonate housing, Panasonic’s design brief was to produce a product of very limited weight and with dimensions as small as possible.  Whereas in the development of the SF4B series, mechanical robustness was the highest priority. The SF4C safety light guards are especially useful for installation in small machines where standard light guards are not yet a state of the art requirement. The mounting depth of the new product series is considerably  reduced, therefore an enlarged access area can be realized. Also the wiring effort has been simplified in addition to the product weight being considerably reduced. Despite the polycarbonate housing materials, Panasonic has still managed to ensure that a safety class 4 was reached and neither the lifetime, nor the stability, nor the IP67 degree of protection have been compromised. The miniaturized mounting depth of only 13mm allows integration in even the smallest places – an important aspect when realizing a compact machine. SF4C safety light guards are available with beam pitches of 10mm or 20mm and detection heights ranging from 160mm to 640mm. The sensing range between receiver and emitter can be up to 3m.


SF4B-C safety light guards with a combined polycarbonate and aluminium housing

The new SF4B-C series combines the benefits of both of the above product series in using polycarbonate and aluminium together for the housing. The size of only 20 x 27.4mm fits typical industrial aluminium profiles. The combination of polycarbonate and aluminium in one housing has helped to achieve a satisfying stability with protection heights of up to 1943mm. The series also offers advanced functions such as Fixed Blanking/Floating Blanking, Muting, as well as Extraneous Light Check & Avoid function (ELCA).

All Panasonic safety light guards have been developed according to current standards and are certified by the TÜV. All series corresponds to the performance level of type 4 (Ple SIL3) and can  offer finger protection with a beam pitch of 10mm, hand protection with a beam pitch of 20mm and arm protection with a beam pitch of 40mm. To start the operation of the light guards quickly and without effort, indicators for the beam alignment are built in to the devices. Thus, the ideal mounting position can be found quickly and easily.