You are here



Wood is a popular natural material, both in carpentry and in architecture. The processing methods "from forest to furniture" are manifold. They include debarking and sawing as well as miscellaneous surface treatments, furniture assembly, and strand board production methods. Most of these methods and processes have a common feature, i.e. they entail hazards and risks for the operators.

In ancient times, sawmills were a downright synonymous with high injury-risk workplaces. This situation has changed since then - not in the least as a result of the ever stringent regulations with regard to machine safety and the higher level of automation.

High availability

Wood-processing and wood-working machinery usually runs non-stop and often in a 24/7 cycle. Interruptions thereby are very unwanted. Safety switchgear from Schmersal is geared to these conditions. They are characterized by longevity, even under rough operating conditions similar to those prevailing in sawmills and chipping plants and they were designed and developed with the objective to minimize or even avoid interruptions of the production process.

An example: safety sensors, safety switches and solenoid interlocks equipped with the Schmersal-patented CSS technology detect the slightest misalignment of the guard door and transmit a corresponding message to the control or the master display. The user then can realign the guard door before it becomes misaligned to such an extent that for instance the safety sensor no longer responds to the actuator, thus preventing the start-up of the machine.

Long service life, even in heavy-duty conditions

A number of switchgear series from Schmersal are true specialists for the heavy-duty conditions prevailing in wood-processing and the wood-working industry. These series include for instance safety mats, robust position switches and pull-wire emergency stop switches, which enable a very fast activation of the emergency stop function on conveyor plants and large wood-processing machinery. The safety mats of the SMS series are often used to protect areas and the safety switching covers of the SL 300 series from Schmersal are tactile safety guards, which were originally developed for a customer who was active in the forestry industry and then included in the entire product program.

Pollution by wood chips and dust excluded

Wherever it should be avoided that the function of safety switchgear is affected by wood chips or dust, non-contact safety sensors, whose switch and actuator have smooth surfaces, or optoelectronic safety guards are used.

Information provides for transparency

In complex plants, the communication between individual components is highly important. Schmersal therefore offers a Serial Diagnostic Gateway, for instance for the CSS series, for the transmission of non-safety-related, diagnostic-information through default bus protocols. This provides for enhanced availability and quick troubleshooting in the case of a failure.

The use of the "AS Interface Safety at Work" standard is also useful for the transmission of safety-related signals. Here, the user benefits from considerably reduced installation efforts and overheads as well as enhanced diagnostic possibilities - features, which are applauded within wood-processing machinery construction. Schmersal offers a comprehensive program of safety switchgear with integrated AS-i Safety interface.

Dust-explosion protection

When mixed with a certain volume of air, wood dust is explosive. The Schmersal Group offers a comprehensive range of explosion proof switchgear for automation and machine safety, which is tested and certified to the ATEX and IECEx Directives. These switchgear provide for a double safety: they ensure the safety of the machine on the one hand and cannot become a source of ignition themselves on the other hand.


Machine safety is a complex theme. The Schmersal Group offers its customers comprehensive support for the implementation of standards and guidelines in high-productive machinery and plants. The service portfolio includes, amongst other things, seminars in the Wuppertal tec.nicum training centre as well as individual consultancy for machine builders and safety engineers by certified Safety Consultants in more than 20 countries.

Context Column


To learn more about our products associated with this industry, order a print catalog or have a Schmersal representative contact you, please use our contact form.