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SICK Develops PLe/SIL3 RFID-Monitored Safety Lock with 180° Actuator

31 October 2022

SICK has developed the flexLock, an RFID-monitored safety lock with an innovative 180° actuation radius, creating a versatile protective device for safe locking of doors, flaps and gates. The SICK flexLock has been designed with a high locking force to achieve a performance level up to PLe/SIL3, all in a rounded, slim, and rugged housing.

The SICK flexLock is a Type 4 safety locking device (according to EN ISO 14119) providing PLe (EN ISO 13849) and SIL3 (EN IEC 62061) protection for personnel and processes through physical locking of moveable safety equipment such as doors, guards and screens to prevent access to, or interference with, machinery in a hazardous area. 

Flexible Machine Integration
The SICK flexLock has an open locking head, together with an infinitely-variable actuation radius of 180° which makes for easy and flexible machine integration. This unique innovation provides a flexible entry point for the actuator, useful, for example, for sliding doors, or doors with small radii. It allows a high tolerance to misalignment, even when a door or gate is sagging. There is a choice of either a flexible actuator with a spring-loaded tongue for when the door guidance is imprecise, or a rigid actuator which allows a side approach to the locking head.

The SICK flexLock’s open locking head and rounded housing make cleaning easy. With its IP67/IP69K housing, the flexLock is resistant to dust and water, making it suitable for tough environments. The three LED status indicators are clearly visible from three sides, enabling maximum machine availability and quick trouble shooting. 

RFID Transponder Technology
The safe locking RFID transponder in the actuator offers the highest level of prevention against tampering, saving the time and expense of installing additional measures for manipulation protection. With low and high coded variants available, devices can be selected such that defeating in a reasonably foreseeable manner is prevented (EN ISO 14119). Thanks to a high locking force of up to 3150 N, the door remains safely and reliably locked until there is no more risk to humans or the production process.

Rapid machine integration is also aided by the ability to mount multiple flexLock devices at short distances from each other without interference. The flexLock devices can be safely cascaded either using simple T-connectors or used in combination with a SICK controller utilising Flexi Loop safe series connection, which also provides complete diagnostics. A safe cascade can contain up to 30 devices in large installations with minimal cabling and connection costs.

An optional escape release function is available to protect personnel in whole body applications, allowing the device to be unlocked from the inside and stopping the machine, should a person be accidentally located in the hazardous area.

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