Safety light curtains protect operators from hot/caustic chemicals during operation of degreasing tanks


A high pressure/high temperature degreasing tank line is used to clean machined metal parts for the automotive industry. To protect operators from possible injury while degreasing is in progress, Safetinex YBB-30 safety light curtains have been installed and connected to the machine control system.

Customer Values

  • Meets highest safety requirements economically
  • Reliable and adaptable
  • Easy to install
  • Fail-safe electronic design
  • Secures lower liability costs
  • Protects employees and environment
  • Reduces loss of fluids involved

    Specific Product Advantages

    • Certified CE, TÜV, and UL
    • IP 65 and IP 67 class protection
    • IP 65 and IP 67 class protection
    • Category 4, PL e according to EN/ISO 13849-1
    • Type 4 according to EN/IEC 61496-1 and -2
    • Rugged construction
    • Soil and mist tolerant
    • Simple installation
    • Long detection range

    Customer Application

    The manufacture of automotive parts by stamping or machining involves liberal use of oily lubricants. However, these processes leave finished parts heavily laden with oily residues that must be eliminated prior to assembly. A degreasing tank line provides the necessary cleaning.

    Degreasing tanks contain caustic fluids at high pressure and/or high temperature, which effectively remove all traces of lubricant and protective coatings. However, some aspects of this process are potentially hazardous to both employees and the environment. The high temperature and pressure at which cleaning takes place means that anyone accessing the tank while the process is running risks injury from caustic spray and harmful vapors. The containment method chosen must take account of the need for human interventions, while ensuring operator safety. Liability costs must be minimized and loss of process fluids reduced. Electromechanical interlocks were considered, but a simpler and more operator friendly solution was sought.

    Customer Solution

     With their ease of installation and use, Safetinex YBB safety light curtains were selected for this application. They meet safety category 4 of EN ISO 13849-1 as well as type 4 of DIN EN 61496-1 and -2.

    The safety light curtain comprises a sender and a receiver unit. Infra-red beams generate a protective field between the two units. LED displays on the sender and the receiver indicate field status, operating mode, transmission channel, and alignment quality. Reliability is guaranteed by a fail-safe electronic design with permanent autocontrol.

    Positioning a safety light curtain near the point of access to the tank lids prevents the operator from opening them while cleaning is in progress. The extent of the protective field also ensures that no operator can access the hazardous area by reaching over, under or around the light curtain. Any object entering the protective field will not only disable the spray jets and stop agitation, but will also cause the control system to idle before allowing access.