ESPE inspection and testing is often neglected as many machinery owners are unsure how often it should be assessed.
The International Electrotechnical Commission’s EN 61496 series specifies requirements for the design, construction and testing of ESPE designed specifically to detect persons as part of a safety-related system, employing active opto-electronic protective devices (AOPDs) for the sensing function. This is then used in conjunction with EN ISO 13855 to determine the correct installation location for the light guard, which should be verified after installation.
The complete system for detection, actuation and stopping is not solely reliant on the electrical signals. There are normally wear components that are installed as part of that system to enable a shorter stopping time. Through the lifecycle of use, there is potential for these parts to wear and this could introduce a situation where access can be gained through a light guard, to a hazardous part of the machine, while it is still in run down.
Regular safety inspections of AOPDs guarantee compliance with safety and quality standards, serve as precautionary maintenance measures and consequently help to reduce undesirable machine downtimes to a minimum.