FoldGuard

FoldGuard is a complete safety and guarding solution designed for folding machine applications. FoldGuard is available in both OEM and retrofit configurations and provides optical protection for the clamping operation, monitoring of machine performance plus management of additional machine safety elements.

Optical Clamp Protection & more

The FoldGuard laser transmitter and receiver are positioned either side of the machine with floor mounted brackets. A continuous dual laser field protects the zone between the clamp to protect the operator as they hold the material while it is being clamped. If an obstruction is detected  the clamp motion is automatically stopped. By providing this extra protection FoldGuard enables the machine to operate without the need for a safety stop on each cycle for faster operation. A special hemming mode also enables parts to be formed safety without unnecessary safety stops.

FoldGuard also provides optional monitoring of additional machine safety elements such as emergency stop buttons, foot pedals, light curtains, area laser scanners, safety mats, interlock switches and emergency kick bar.


Key Features

foldguard-diagram

Features

  • Specifically designed for folding machine applications. Available in OEM and Retrofit configurations.
  • Optical protection of the clamping operation keeps operators safe when handling material.
  • Optional monitoring of machine elements including emergency stop buttons, emergency kick bar, pedal e-stops and more.
  • Optional monitoring of additional safety elements including light curtains, laser area scanners, safety mats and interlock switches.
  • Graphical user interface panel displays system and machine status in real time. Simple to follow instructions and messages make the system very easy to operate.
  • Automatic monitoring of clamp motion and stopping performance.
  • Dedicated hemming mode allows parts with a hem to be formed safely without the need for a safety stop.  

Technology

SmartLink-SmallSmartLink

SmartLink is an advanced communication link that seamlessly integrates safety and guarding functions with the machine's CNC system. Available with the OEM configuration, SmartLink eliminates the need for a separate user panel and enables the folding machine manufacturer to embed the functions of FoldGuard into the machine design. SmartLink can be custom integrated with proprietary CNC systems and tailored to suit the individual requirements of the folding machine manufacturer.

Specifications

  FoldGuard
Controller OEM Configuration  Retrofit Configuration
Hardware CE Certified Category 4 Safety Controller with solid state outputs and encoder feedback system CE Certified Category 4 Safety Controller with integrated force guided relays and encoder feedback system
Software CE Certified Kernel Software with application software interface CE Certified Kernel Software with application software interface
Technology SmartLink  
Additional features     
 Monitoring of emergency stop buttons, pedal e-stops & kick bar e-stop  ●  ●
Monitoring of additional safety elements (light curtains, laser area scanners, safety mats, interlock switches, etc.)*  ●   
Customisable machine safety and control functions* 
 ●  
Laser transmitter / receiver    
Laser transmitter CLASS 1 Dual planar laser  CLASS 1 Dual planar laser
Receiver Multi-sensor photocell receiver  Multi-sensor photocell receiver
Optical range 14 meters  14 Meters
Object detection resolution 4mm  4mm
Connector type M12 8 pin  M12 8 pin
Integrated status LEDs Transmitter status (power / laser A/B)
Receiver status (power / front/middle/rear sensors)
Transmitter status (power / laser A/B)
Receiver status (power / front/middle/rear sensors) 
User interface    
CNC Embedded SmartLink Interface  
4.3” widescreen colour graphics display Optional  ●
Mounting brackets    
Vertical adjustment range 970mm to 1170mm  970mm to 1170mm
Horizontal adjustment range 40mm  40mm

* Requires SmartLink interface

How to Buy

FoldGuard is available in the United States and Canada from our Retrofit Dealer AMS Controls Inc. For all other enquiries please email info@lazersafe.com.

Frequently asked questions

FoldGuard is a complete safety and guarding solution that is specifically designed for long, open ended folding machines. FoldGuard provides optical protection for the clamping operation, monitoring of machine performance plus management of additional machine safety elements.

Most long, open ended folding machines including Jorns, Thalmann, LSK, Variobend, Bradbury and more. Contact your FoldGuard dealer to confirm if your machine is compatible.

FoldGuard includes a laser transmitter and multi-sensor receiver that are fixed at either end of the machine. A continuous dual laser field is projected along the length of the machine to provide a protective zone both forward of and inside the clamping space. While the protective zone remains clear, FoldGuard enables the clamp to close in a single action, without a safety stop.

The mute point is the clamp opening position where the optical protection is temporarily deactivated, allowing the clamp to continue to fully close and clamp the material. FoldGuard automatically detects the position of the clamp head and sets a mute point of 6mm (1/4 inch). During operation, optical protection is automatically muted when the clamp opening is 6mm, reducing the chance of an operator’s fingers or hands from entering this small space.

A safety stop is where the clamp closing movement is stopped at a fixed opening distance. In order to continue to clamp the material, the operator must release and press the foot pedal again. The safety stop is designed to stop the clamp just above finger thickness to give the operator a final opportunity to make sure the clamp space is clear before the clamp closes on the material.

Yes. With the clamping operation, the operator must be aware that, after a safety stop, there is still a risk of injury if fingers or hands are left inside the clamp space.

If the sensors are blocked above the mute point, then the clamp motion is stopped (or motion prevented if already stationary). If the sensors are cleared then the operator can press he foot pedal again to resume clamping the part with optical protection active. If the sensors remain blocked then the operator can press the pedal again to resume clamping with the optical protection deactivated, however FoldGuard will force the clamp into slow speed (if machine has dual speed) and force a safety stop and the operator must release and press the foot pedal again to clamp the material.

Any time the sensor is blocked, FoldGuard automatically monitors the clamp stopping performance and measures the stop distance and stop time to ensure the clamp has stopped within a safe limit. FoldGuard also monitors stopping performance any time the clamp is stopped - for example if the foot pedal is released, on a safety stop, etc. The stopping performance is displayed in real-time on the FoldGuard HMI.

This is required because with certain operations, the sensors can be blocked by the material - for example when the material is not flat or has a flange profile. In order to clamp these parts the optical protection must be temporarily deactivated. However, in these situations FoldGuard will force a safety stop, giving the operator an opportunity to make sure the clamp space is clear before pressing the foot pedal again to clamp the material.

The mute point provides optical protection until the clamp opening is reduced to 6mm whereas a safety stop is at a higher position (usually around 15mm). After a safety stop, there is not optical protection beyond the safety stop position. If there is no safety stop (sensors clear) then optical protection will remain active until the clamp opening is 6mm.

Hemming mode allows the sensors that are positioned inside the clamp space to be temporarily deactivated to avoid interference with the part so hemming cycles can be completed without a safety stop. In hemming mode, the sensor that provides protection forward of the clamp space is always active until the mute point position. If the front sensor is blocked then clamp motion is stopped, then resumes in slow speed (if machine has dual speed) with a safety stop before the hemming cycle can be completed. Hemming mode will be automatically deactivated if no hems are formed within a 30 second period.

Although FoldGuard provides a high level of protection, you should never become complacent. Always keep hands and fingers clear of the clamp space. Operators must also be trained and fully conversant with the operation of the machine and with FoldGuard.

FoldGuard is a highly advanced system that monitors a range of system and machine functions. During the clamping operation, FoldGuard monitors the clamp position, direction, stop / start motion and stopping performance. The actual position of the clamp is also optically verified to monitor the mute point and ensure the sensors are correctly positioned. FoldGuard also monitors the action of the machine control and hydraulic systems and commands related to the clamping function, foot pedal operation, emergency stop buttons, emergency kick bar and foot pedal emergency stop switches.

FoldGuard is the only complete system developed specifically for folding machines. Aside from having a safety stop on every clamp cycle, traditionally a range of third party devices and/or sensors are used to provide optical protection, however these generally act as basic on/off switches that stop the machine when interrupted. Unlike FoldGuard, these generic add-on devices and sensors do not provide any advanced functionality or monitoring of the machine process and are not designed for folding machine applications.