UMQ Series Safety Mats from OMRON
Scientific Technologies feature a patented IP67 quick-disconnect cable
connector that reduces inventory requirements, simplifies installation and makes
it possible to replace damaged cables in the field.
The safety mat operates
as a simple, normally open switch. When a specified minimum weight is applied
to the safety mat, the switch closes. A signal is sent to the safety mat
controller which, in turn, sends a stop signal to the guarded machine.
feature allows users to easily adjust cable length in the field and, since the
cable is not attached until the end of the installation process, significantly
reduces the potential for cable damage during installation. But even if a cable
is damaged, the mat can be repaired in the field without replacing the entire
mat - a feature unique to the UMQ series.
The key to the design
and patent is the integration of an air pressure equalization valve into the
connector, along with the electrical connections. According to Richard
Puddicombe, a product manager for OMRON, non-connector mats require an air
equalization valve to be molded into the mat which is closed before operation. The
valve allows the air in the mat to equalize with the surrounding atmosphere, as
mats may be installed in locations that are significantly higher than sea level
where they are manufactured. Integration of the air valve into the connector
means that no separate operation is required when installing the mat because the
air pressure is automatically equalized.
Puddicombe says the UMQ
series are the only safety mats available today to offer the quick-disconnect
functionality. With existing non quick disconnect solutions, cables are
permanently attached to the mat. If a mat is damaged, the cables for the
replacement mat must be re-routed to the mat controller, a process which can be
very labor intensive.