Finger-Sensing for Machine Operators

Sept. 5, 2019

Rockford Systems launched the next generation of its Detect-A-Finger drop-probe device to better safeguard riveting and welding machinery to help operators avoid finger and hand injuries.


The Detect-A-Finger Gen II (RKC008 and RKC009) supports new safety-enhancing features and ensures that operators can meet production needs with upgrades such as increasing the stroke to 1.85-in., unified right- and left-handed operation, a pre-punched enclosure to achieve faster electrical connections, and a soft drop-probe rod for accurate template development, prior to forming the steel drop probe. This enhanced design will meet compliance requirements for a Category 2 guarding device and reduce the potential for operators bypassing their guarding.


The Detect-A-Finger® Gen II devices are used on small machines, such as riveters, eyeletters, stakers, staplers, crimpers, and fastening machines, to help protect the operator's fingers from point-of-operation hazards by utilizing drop probes. Drop-probe devices work by gravity. When a probe drops and encounters a finger or workpiece in its way, the probe will not complete its downward travel and the machine will not start a cycle or stroke. A spring returns the probe to its starting or up position. The integration of a keyed aluminum drop-shaft clamp and a hexagonal, rigid steel drop probe into the Gen II significantly improves the reliability of the operation, therefore minimizing unplanned downtime and creating a safer work environment. Also added were redundant switches and a two-hand safety relay that detects faults in the device's two-hand controls, wiring, and contactors safety circuits.

To make retrofitting older models quick and easy, the Gen II features the identical mounting pattern as the original model, creating a "drop-in" solution that is simple to deploy. Rockford Systems also offers a new drop-probe kit (FCT057), that includes one soft aluminum rod to aid in creating a template prior to forming the tougher steel hex probe.