Rolling mills consist of two horizontal rollers, which are driven at different rates of speed. The fed materials are homogenised and tempered. This method involves initially winding the material to be processed on one of the two rollers from which it is then removed by hand from the roller and then fed back to the roller mouth. These work steps cannot be automated. Carrying out this work requires a high degree of skill on the part of the machine operator and can only be carried out flawlessly and quickly after a long period of familiarisation. In all instances, employees’ fingers and hands come very close to the nip of the rollers, often only a few inches away from the danger of being pulled in.
The protective devices used in the past were usually mechanical shutdowns, which were mounted in different places on machines and in the event of an accident required great presence of mind of the operator in order be effective.
The U-TECH ROLL safety system provides the hazardous areas of the rolling mills with an electromagnetic protective field. If an employee wearing suitable transponders on both wrists reaches into this protective field, the machine is stopped before he or she is injured.
The U-TECH Roll system is based on RFID technology. A rod antenna mounted at a suitable location above the gap of the rollers, which is connected to the associated electronics, generates a magnetic field of concentric circles. The radius of the magnetic field can be adjusted.
The magnetic field is then adjusted so that the personal safety modules are activated before fingers enter the gap between the rollers. When this happens, the personal protection module detects the hazard and sends a radio signal to the control electronics, which in turn triggers an emergency stop of the machine.