Once upon a time, manufacturers had to invest in expensive Category 4 systems to meet nonlife-threatening safety requirements of Category 2 applications. But the F3S-B safety light curtain designed by Omron Electronics LLC, Schaumburg, Ill., can meet the requirements of such applications and reduce costs without sacrificing safety protection.

The safety light curtain is suitable for human body detection in Category 1, 2, or B working environments as determined by the European Union standard EN954-1. As a self-contained unit that doesn't require an external controller, the height of its protection zone can range from 300 to 1,650 mm. An instabilitymonitoring feature signals dust and dirt buildup on the lens or misalignment of a beam emitter and detector. The F3S-B's software provides fixed blanking of one or more beams, a feature usually provided on the Category 4 units. The light curtain can be used for robotic operations, packaging lines, automotive light assembly, electronic assembly, and material handling.