Safety remote controls are specially designed for the control of potentially hazardous machinery - for example cranes and hoists, concrete pumps, container side-lifters, elevating work platforms, and many others. Safety remote controls are necessary where the failure of the system (e.g. a command turning on unexpectedly, or the STOP failing to operate) could pose a risk of injury or death, or of damage to the machine or other property.
Safety remote controls include many special features that increase Functional Safety by increasing the fault-tolerance of the systems. Safety remote controls share little in common with general-purpose remote controls (such as door openers) which do not fail-to-safety. Different applications require different levels of Functional Safety, and various Standards define different categories and performance levels that are sometimes mandated for specific machine types.
Safety remote controls must contain specific design features to meet these strict requirements. Amongst these are:
These issues are fully discussed in our white paper on Functional Safety in remote control systems, which is recommended reading for anyone considering the application of radio remote controls to machines.
Types of safety remote control
When selecting a radio remote control for a machine, the best approach is to consider the application firstly from the operator’s perspective:
The design of the machine will also influence the choice of controller, and of the receiver. Considerations include the power supply available, the load being switched, the available space for the installation, and the types of control devices (contactors, valves, solenoids, etc) being operated. If there is a programmable controller on the machine, the receiver and the PLC can communicate over CANOpen with either the receiver, the PLC, or both being responsible for control of the machine elements.
In our Store, we offer some of the most popular standard designs for cranes and hoists. For other applications, give our experienced applications engineers a call.