What is a safety edge?

Safety edges prevent shear and crush injuries.

Safety edges are essential solutions in public, industrial and automation settings to prevent accidents and injuries. These sensitive strips are typically attached to moving machinery or equipment such as automatic gates, automatic doors on factories and doors on CNC machines. They are also used in lifting applications such as stage lifts and platforms, lift tables and dock levellers used in distribution applications. The safety edge - also referred to as a safety bump strip or safety rib - is designed to detect any obstructions or pressure, immediately stopping the operation to avoid harm.

Bircher safety edges from Motion29 Bircher safety edges Safety Cat 2 or 3 safety relays Image

How does a safety edge work?

The safety edge forms part of a safety system that monitors an 8k2 ohm resistor usually built into the safety edge. You can have more than one safety edge in a circuit, but only one edge with an 8k2 resistor that must be positioned at the end of the circuit. When a safety edge is activated, the rubber profile will press onto the internal contact strip and short out the end of line 8k2 resistor. This resistor is electronically monitored by a safety relay or switching unit, which checks the status of the resistor. If there is a break in the circuit between the resistor and switching unit, this is shown as a fault and the safety relays open. If the edge is pressed, the resistor is shorted out and detected by the switching unit. This again will open the safety relays and stop the system.

Wired or Wireless Safety Edges.

Wired switching units are typically used in static applications where wear or damage to the safety edge cable is unlikely. In applications where there is repeated movement of the safety edge cable, it is often preferred to install a wireless switching unit. These are commonly used on automatic gate applications where the safety edges connected to channel 1 of the wireless switching unit will open safety relay 1. Channel 2 works in the same way opening safety relay 2. This provides the control system with direction of travel information related to the gate movement during the opening and closing phases.

Choose the right safety edge.

With their quick responsiveness and precision, safety edges ensure a safe working environment and help to protect both workers and machinery from potential hazards. Each safety edge manufactured by Bircher and assembled for you by Mogtion29, has its own characteristics with regards to actuating force, pre-travel and over travel measurement. These help you determine the best safety edge for your application. Please remember a small safety edge cannot offer the same level of protection as a larger profile, so it is important to choose the correct product for your requirement.

Do I need a safety edge?

Safety edges are potentially required on any machine that can operate either automatically or unsupervised. If the gate, platform or machine can cause a trap, shear or crush injury, then it is likely to need a safety edge. Completing a professional risk assessment will fully answer the need. So, the shiny new gate at the end of your drive that opens and closes automatically, does need a safety edge. This requirement is to ensure the safe operation of closing edges on electric gates for example, where it forms part of a full gate safety system. This is equally as important on any other piece of equipment where the risk of injury exists.

What do we offer?

Motion29 has been a distributor and manufacturer of Bircher safety edges since starting our business in July 2006. We stock BBC Bircher Smart Access range including ExpertLine safety edges, CoverLine safety edges, ClickLine safety edges, Standard safety edges and S-Line safety edges. In addition to the safety edges, we all so provide the wired and wireless switching units, such as the ESD3 series with traditional electro-mechanical safety relays, the ESGate unit designed for monitoring safety edges on gates, the ESMatix the latest of the wired switching units designed for industrial applications. We also stock the recently introduced XRF wireless switching units with their programmable category 2 or 3 setting, single and dual channel options they are an ideal solution for any gate safety requirement.

How do I order my safety edges?

You can call us direct using the phone number at the top of the page, or you can order online. If ordering online, please use our made to measure tools where you can specify the rubber safety edge profile and configuration, either with 8k2 resistor and a single cable or two cables for the pass-through version. Next you choose the cable length for the installation followed by the mounting rail. Finally, enter the safety edge length in millimetres (mm) and press the calculate button. This will calculate the price of the chosen options and allow you to add it to your basket. For your peace of mind, we will give you a call just to check your order and make sure that it meets your installation requirements.

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