Altendorf's Hand Guard safety system

Hand Guard from Altendorf

In October, Altendorf began offering the world’s only optical system for protecting fingers on sliding table saws to European customers. The unique early-recognition system, called Hand Guard, uses two cameras to sense hands and drop the blade. There’s no block of aluminum, no blade replacement and no cost involved when an incident occurs, other than a brief interruption (10 second recovery time). The system not only protects employees but also eliminates costs associated with accidents including medical bills, insurance claims, and job downtime. The saws equipped with Hand Guard are individually configurable (a shop has a lot of leeway to design machinery with exact needs in mind), and these are tough, low-maintenance machines. Hand Guard is not only safe, but also extremely versatile thanks to its wide range of configuration options. For example, it even works with certain gloves, can handle nearly every type of saw blade, and is designed for virtually any material including non-ferrous metals, damp wood, or plastics. The sliding saws equipped with the system can crosscut to 63” and a height of 8”. The maximum blade diameter is 21.65” (550 mm). The controlled plunging movement of the safety system protects the machine, the saw blade, and the workpiece. It lowers and stops the blade in one quarter of a second. Two cameras analyze data for hand detection, and the system starts to work before contact is ever made. The powerful cameras determine the exact position of the hand in relation to the saw blade. In the process, differently defined situations are optically recognized and classified. The cameras constantly collect data that is processed by a powerful program. If the system detects a hazardous situation, the danger is eliminated. Altendorf is headquartered in Minden, Germany and the U.S. office is located in Mooresville, North Carolina.