TOFgard: Evolution in elevator door safeguarding!

The decades-old method of using light barriers and light curtains to safeguard elevator doors is about to come to an end – thanks to the TOFgard sensor from Swiss sensor solution specialist, CEDES. This compact and versatile Time Of Flight camera sensor offers the safeguarding function but extended across both the cabin and landing door closing edges. In other words, it offers genuine full door area protection for passengers, freight and the door itself. Up to now, light barriers and curtains have been used to safeguard passengers and freight entering and leaving elevators. TOFgard_application_before_afterTheir actual detection zone is limited to a flat, two-dimensional plain between the cabin and landing doors. This is the reason why the vast majority of elevator accidents occur at automated elevator doors. The revolutionary concept of TOFgard offers, for the very first time, a three-dimensional protection area including the entire closing face of both cabin and landing doors! Protection for passengers and fright is greatly improved, at the same time reducing the legal exposure for elevator companies.

Compact size and easiest mounting

TOFgard consists only of a very small sensor unit. Compared to a conventional light curtain, the packaged volume is reduced at least by a factor of 40! Montage_TOFgardThat means shipment and logistics costs are also drastically reduced. The sensor is mounted in the lintel of the cabin door, requiring just a small cut-out in the metal. For new installations, this can be done in the factory, while holes can be drilled on site for modernization projects. Only a flat, discreet cover is visible to the elevator passengers. Thanks to its advanced technology, the TOFgard is mainly self-learning, limiting the mounting and set-up to a two minute plug and play job.

One platform – different options 

In the basic version, the TOFgard provides a solid 3D detection zone across the entire closing face of both center-opening and side-opening elevator doors. But that’s not all. The TOFgard

offers the option of several detection zones with different functions based on the same sensor platform. In addition to the aforementioned door safeguarding function, a second zone monitoring the entrance area to the elevator can be added. This detects any approaching passengers and freight and quickly reopens the closing doors. There is also a possibility to add a people-counting option. This accurately counts the passengers entering and leaving the cabin to enhance the performance of destination dispatch systems.

EN 81-20 and beyond

TOFgard fulfills all requirements of EN 81-20. However it is preparing the ground to move door protection and elevator efficiency yet to another level. Its technology recognizes the position of any object in the protected field. Hence the motion

of the elevator door can be controlled based on the position of the object relative to the door position. This prevents, for example full door re-opening given just a short interruption far off the doors’ leading edge. With this in mind, flight time and hence overall elevator efficiency can be improved. Make-up your own opinion and experience the TOFgard at this years’ Interlift (hall 3, booth 3119).

Source: Cedes