Automating Horizontal Machine Doors

Do you need to safely automate a horizontal machine door and maximize production by ensuring fast opening and closing? Use this guide to learn about the available solutions.

Questions & Answers

automating horizontal machine doorsWhat are the solutions for automating horizontal machine doors and their respective pros and cons?

The technology for automating machine doors includes pneumatic cylinders, servo motor drive systems, custom integrator-developed systems, and all-in-one door actuator systems (direct drive motor, controller, operating software).

For safety compliance, servo driven doors may require additional safety mechanisms such as light curtains or bump bars. The cost of components is typically $5800 to $8100. Custom developed solutions can be complex, requiring software and firmware.

Pneumatic cylinders can drive a machine door but can be challenging to design, mount, and ensure consistent air pressure/quality. The total cost of components ranges from $2900 to $4000. Installation costs and costs of shop air are separate. Pneumatic systems are expensive to operate because of the air is costly. Pneumatic systems are generally not safety compliant.

All-in-one machine door actuator systems start at $4500 and do not require additional safety components and can be retrofitted to many horizontal door types with a “universal” retrofit kit. Installation takes less than a day, and machine commissioning takes about 15 minutes. Its low voltage operation results in negligible ongoing costs and requires no long term maintenance.

Drive Solutions Component Cost* Installation Time* Long Term Maintenance Safety
Pneumatic $2900-$4000 3+ Days High None to Minimal
Servo $5800-$8100 1-3 Days Medium Requires additional safety mechanism
SMDA (safe machine door actuator) $4500-$5000 Less than a day None Compliant with EU Safety Standards

*Based on field research and customer feedback

Does the door system need to meet stringent standards such as European Standards for safety in power operated doors?

With the latest EU machinery directives 2006/42/EC, every machine manufacturer is obligated to conduct a risk assessment for every machine. The Machinery Directive, Directive 2006/42/EC is a European Union directive aimed at establishing a common safety level for machinery used in all member states. There is a crushing hazard on every machine with (automatically activated) movable guards. Particularly for machines operated by a person, special safety measures must be taken into account.

Servax® brand machine door actuators, available in the USA through Dynatect Manufacturing, are based on the drive technology for pedestrian passages from TORMAX, its partner division at Landert Group AG. These of drives are certified by TÜV (Performance Level d according to EN 13849-1). The system includes the technology for implementing safe force and speed limits and ensures that the force and permissible kinetic energy compliant with EN 12453 and EN 14120 are safely maintained.

What are some advantages of an all-in-one door actuator solution?

Servax® brand machine door actuators (SMDA) are self-learning, adjusting to torque and power levels to maintain consistent parameters such as cycle time, closing force, and closing energy. That means over time, the system will ensure consistent operation despite any wear or build-up of cutting material. SMDA’s can use multiple operating profiles in conjunction with automation and CNC controls so the door can be configured to reduce cycle time. The SMDA is more cost-effective than pneumatic and customized systems, while meeting all European safety standards.


Learn more about Servax brand Safe Machine Door Actuators

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