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Safety Beams for Automatic Gates

Photocells, also known as photoelectric beams, consist of an invisible infrared light beam transmitted from a sending unit to a receiving unit. When an object blocks the beam, the system detects the presence of an obstacle. Photocells are frequently used in conjunction with automatic gates on either side of a driveway to prevent a gate from closing on a vehicle. This is particularly useful when the gate is set to automatically close after a predetermined time delay. Photocells are a vital safety feature, and they play a crucial role in preventing accidents and damage to property. They are reliable, cost-effective, and require little maintenance. Photocells are a simple yet effective way to ensure the safety of people and property.

Types of Safey Beams

When it comes to gate usage, photocells with a point-to-point infrared light beam transmitted between a transmitter and a receiver on either side of a gateway are typically the preferred option over reflector types. This is because reflector types tend to be less effective in rainy or sunny conditions. However, a newer type of reflector that utilizes an infrared laser has shown to be much more reliable. This laser-based reflector overcomes the issues associated with traditional reflector types, ensuring accurate detection of obstacles even in challenging weather conditions. It is important to choose the appropriate photocell for the application at hand, taking into consideration factors such as weather conditions, location, and reliability. A well-chosen photocell can provide reliable and efficient operation for gate systems, helping to prevent accidents and protect property.

Beam Positioning

When installing photocells, the most critical factor is ensuring that they are accurately facing each other. The transmitter's beam of light is narrow, and if it is not precisely aimed at the receiver, the system may not function correctly. Worse yet, it could work intermittently and stop functioning as soon as it rains, leaving the gate open and creating a safety hazard. Proper alignment of the photocell components is essential for reliable and efficient operation. Additionally, it is crucial to ensure that the installation location is free of obstacles that may block the light beam, such as vegetation or building structures. Taking the time to correctly align the photocell components and choose an appropriate installation location will help to ensure that the system functions correctly and prevents accidents, protecting both people and property.

Proper installation of photocells is crucial for the smooth and safe operation of gate systems. One of the critical factors that affect their performance is the height at which they are installed. If the height is too high, the photocell may not detect low-profile vehicles or empty trailers passing through, while if it is too low, it may detect obstacles such as the ground or rocks and cause the gate to malfunction.

To ensure optimal performance, it is recommended to install photocells at a height of around 600mm from the ground. This height is suitable for most vehicles, including cars, vans, utes, small trucks, and trailers. However, for gates shared by larger trucks, installing two sets of photocells at different heights is advisable. In addition to the first set installed at 600mm, a second set should be installed at 900mm to detect the presence of larger vehicles accurately.

By positioning the photocells at the correct height, gate systems can operate reliably and safely, ensuring the protection of both people and property. Proper installation of photocells is essential, and it is also important to ensure that the photocell components are securely mounted, correctly aligned, and free from obstructions that may interfere with their operation. Regular maintenance and testing of the photocell system will help to ensure that it remains functioning optimally over time.

Swing Gates

When it comes to swing gates, it is essential to have at least two sets of closing photocells for proper coverage. For double swing gates, the distance between the inside and outside sets of photocells is shorter, making them better suited to this type of gate than single swing gates. When installing photocells on a 4m swing gate, it is crucial to ensure that the distance between the photocells does not exceed 4m. This is because if a car stops between the photocells, there is a risk that the gate may close on it. Therefore, it is best to position the photocells as close to the gate as possible to minimize this risk.

In addition to the two sets of closing photocells, it is also recommended to install a third set of opening photocells beyond the gate in the open position. This will prevent the gate from opening on a vehicle if it is parked in the path of the opening gate. If the opening photocell is broken, the gate will not open, thus preventing any potential accidents.

Proper installation and positioning of photocells are essential to ensure that swing gates function safely and reliably. It is also important to regularly inspect and maintain the photocell system to ensure that it continues to function optimally over time. By following these guidelines, swing gate systems can operate safely, protecting both people and property.

A Swing Gate Automation Safety Beam Set Up

With swing gates, a pair of photocells should be placed just outside the gates (assuming they open inward) on opposite sides of the driveway and facing each other. A second pair should be placed inside the gates across the driveway but just outside the reach of the fully open gates.

Arriving at Automatic Swing Gates from the Outside

When a vehicle approaches from the outside and the gates are closing, the outside safety beams are broken, which causes the gates to stop closing and reverse in order to open and avoid colliding with the car.
A vehicle that has passed through the outside safety beam then breaks the inside beam and prevents the gates from closing until it has passed through and the beam is restored. Then, after the appropriate time delay, the gates will close.

Arriving at Automatic Swing Gates from the Inside

When vehicles approach gates that are in the process of closing from the inside, they will interrupt the inside safety beam and prevent the gates from closing. As a result, the gates will reverse and open completely, allowing the vehicle to pass through.

Smaller Vehicles and Pedestrians

The time delay configured to maintain gates in an open state after a beam is restored is crucial, particularly when gates are crossed by pedestrians or slower-moving small vehicles. This is because there will be a moment when neither the inner nor outer beams are interrupted by the person or vehicle. In instances where long gates, such as a single 5-bar gate, are employed, a car can even be positioned in a way that does not obstruct either beam.

A Slide Gate Automation Safety Beam Set Up

Automated sliding gates slide along the property boundary when opening. Ideally, safety beams should be installed along the full travel path of a sliding gate.

To prevent the risk of shearing and trapping injuries, it is crucial to ensure that safety photocells are installed on the inside of the gate. These photocells should be able to detect the full travel of the gate and stop it from moving if someone enters the danger area, such as when the gate slides against walls, posts or open railings. By installing safety photocells, the gate system can ensure the safety of individuals and prevent any accidents or injuries that may occur from gate movement. It is essential to take into account all potential hazards when installing a gate system and implement necessary safety measures to prevent any incidents.

By installing a pair of safety beams just outside the gate, anything that breaks their beam when the gate is closing will stop and open the gate.
The safety beams installed inside the gate stops and opens the closing gate when anything breaks their beam.

How do Safety Beams Connect?

Safety beams are connected to the control unit of an automatic gate. There is normally an input dedicated to Safety beams. Also check your main gate manual to see if any settings need to be adjusted after adding the beams.
Wirelesss Safety Beams

Wirelesss Safety Beams

Wired Safety Beams

Wired Safety Beams