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Altendorf Debuts Hand Guard Saw Safety System


August 17, 2022 | Press Release

The Altendorf Group (IWF Booth B4835) is redefining the safety standard with sliding table saws – HAND GUARD

A car without Airbags in 2022? Definitely unimaginable. A sliding table saw without an AI and camera-based safety system to effectively prevent injuries? Also no longer an option in the not-too-distant future.

HAND GUARD is now certified as of 09.05.22 by the German Wood and Metal Trade Association (BGHM) and redefines the safety standard for sliding table saws on the global market with the German “GS” seal of tested safety (GS = tested safety). This means that the up to 120 reportable accidents per month in Germany in connection with sliding table saws can be almost completely prevented. Following the immediate EU-wide start of deliveries, HAND GUARD will also be shipped in North America after successful UL/CSA certification, coinciding with the worldwide marketing launch.

Minden Germany, May 9th 2022 A product must comply with all current standards before it can go on sale in Europe. This guarantees a homogeneous level of protection to prevent accidents when using machinery. Even with misuse, safety is then also guaranteed. When these criteria are met, the product receives the CE mark. The manufacturer can usually award this certification mark itself – an independent inspection body does not have to be used.

Such, however, is not the case with sliding table saws. As these are listed in Annex IV of Machinery Directive (MD) 2006 EC and are therefore classified as dangerous machines, the manufacturer must commission an approved inspection body with a test examination to inspect for standards compliance and concomitant therewith for the CE mark. So far so good: But what happens if there is still no standard for a technical achievement?

HAND GUARD is the world’s first and only safety assistance system for sliding table saws to receive the GS seal for tested safety.

This was the Altendorf Group’s challenge with HAND GUARD, a completely new safety system for sliding table saws. To date there was no standard for AI and camera-based safety assistant systems, therefore the Altendorf Group commissioned an EC type examination with the Trade Association (TA). Along with thousands of material, design and functional tests, the TA also defined the following conditions for the certification:

1. Functionality with hand speeds of up to 2 m/s (typical reflex- and slipping movement)

2. Performance level C (requirement, previously placed on sliding table saws)

3. Appropriate hand detection reliability (oriented on the taxonomy criteria for autonomous and AI systems).

The TA’s goal with HAND GUARD was to redefine a high safety standard for sliding table saws. This will apply in the future as the benchmark for all other market participants. As an AI and camera-based safety system for sliding table saws and the correlated definition of a completely new safety standard are extremely complex, the machine had to be examined by an independent test institute.

After most intensive testing, it’s happening: HAND GUARD gets the GS seal of approval. Potential buyers can now clearly see that its safety has been confirmed by a test institute.

“As a developer of premium sliding table saws, for us it was especially important to conduct further research, to ultimately bring a safety system that would almost entirely prevent accidents to the market. We’re moving forward as pioneers with HAND GUARD. There is no comparable system, which also complies with the conditions of this certification,” says Peter Schwenk, Altendorf Group CEO.

Technical progress is always preceded by a vision. No more injuries in the timber trade – was the Altendorf Group’s vision. And so the company based in Minden Germany developed HAND GUARD. In all probability, in the future no joiner or carpenter will work on a sliding table saw without an AI or camera-based safety system. Utopia? Well no, not really. But at the end of the day, nobody drives without airbags either.

About the Altendorf Group

The Altendorf Group is the world market leader for the manufacture of premium sliding table saws and is one of the hidden champions of the German SME sector. The company was founded in 1906 and has a strong brand recognition worldwide. Its most successful product is the F 45 sliding table saw, also known as “The Altendorf”. It is internationally synonymous with the sliding table saw product category. The latest innovation is HAND GUARD. A globally unique early detection system with two cameras that protects man, machine and material. Since 2018, the Hebrock company with its high-quality Hebrock edgebanders has been part of the Altendorf Group. With subsidiaries in Australia, China, India and the USA, it employs more than 360 people worldwide,

Altendorf Group of America was established in 2019. Altendorf Group America in North Carolina is now ideally placed to bring all of its engineering prowess to the American woodworking industry. Whether you are talking about table saws or edgebanding machines, Altendorf has a long history of woodworking machine design excellence and engineering know-how. After all, our enterprise started in the early twentieth century when we produced the very first table saws to come onto the market. As such, we have a proudly maintained track record of developing new and innovative products. The Hand Guard safety system is no exception, being a finalist for the Challengers award. This year we proudly introduce the first contactless safety system to the US market.


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