Altendorf is making progress bringing its Hand Guard accident protection system to market. The safety feature was introduced and demonstrated on the company’s F45 sliding table saw at the 2019 LIGNA trade show in Hannover, Germany.
Victor Cortes, managing director at Altendorf Group America, says the concept is to keep table saw users from suffering serious injuries through cautionary warnings and actual blade retreat inside the saw.
“It works with a combination of cameras and hand-recognition software. The cameras basically detect the position of the [operator’s] hands at all times,” says Cortes.
If an operator’s hand gets too close to the blade guard, a yellow warning light is activated along with an automatic slowing of the saw blade. Then, if the hand continues into the blade’s path, it drops below the table.
“The operator doesn’t have to touch the blade. You can even wear gloves and it will still work because the system is not dependent on the hand itself, just the positioning of it,” Cortes says.
The Hand Guard will be available on the F45 because it has the necessary space requirements to accommodate the system.
Altendorf is currently following certification requirements in Europe and Germany to make the Blade Guard an optional accessory for purchase on the F45. Cortes also says it will be exhibited at the Holz-Handwerk woodworking trade show in Nuremburg, Germany in March where Altendorf expects to be able to sell the system in Europe, starting with field test customers. The plan is to eventually follow a similar process to bring it to the U.S. market.
“This process takes time. However, authorities are extremely interested which is a very positive sign for us. It’s a game changer in our industry. There are other systems out there, but they have limitations. This is the first system that really will make a difference in the market. It prevents accidents completely,” says Cortes.
For more information, visit www.altendorfgroupamerica.us.
This article originally appeared in the January 2020 issue.