Rite-Hite Machine Guarding (Milwaukee, WI) has reintroduced their Vertiguard Automated Barrier Panel, adding several upgrades that make it an even better option for industrial facility managers looking to increase safety and productivity in their robotic welding cells. The Vertiguard is a unique bottom-up pneumatic panel that provides physical separation between machine operators and manufacturing processes. An alternative to light curtains or area scanners, it is ideal for small interaction points with single or double robotic cells, part assembly, and conveyor openings. This panel reduces the footprint of the guarding system as compared to light curtains or scanners, and provides workers with better protection from application-driven hazards. The vertically rising system also allows for overhead crane loading, and its simple pneumatic operation helps increase productivity. In addition, the panel’s low-profile design helps prevent back injuries, since it requires minimal reach-in to load parts.
The most noticeable difference in the new Vertiguard is its standard size, which has been increased significantly to 110 in wide and 96 in tall (from 72 in wide and 86 in tall). Other upgrades include:
- Improved finger guard using a 40 oz FR vinyl sewn-in loop design to eliminate pinch point.
- New brand cylinder and flange mount with center support.
- Improved sliding panel design for smoother operation.
- More options, including eliminating the toe gap to allow for lower stored panel heights.
- Improved interlock switch brackets and additional switch options, including AB and Jakob Safety.
- Galvanized steel back panel and cylinder cover.
- Availability of 3D modeling for easy insertion into project drawings.
- Improved pneumatic hose and fitting quality.
- Photo-eye strip option to prevent door movement when obstructions are sensed.
The Vertiguard is manufactured under ISO 9001 specifications and comes fully assembled with a one-year warranty. Equipped with optional Cat. 4, PLe, SIL 3 switches and controls (per EN 954.1, EN ISO 13849-1 and EN 62061 specifications), it is an ideal safe-guarding device in robotic welding cells and other applications that require both electronic safe-guarding devices and physical separation.