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Home>AUTOMATION>Robots>En Route to Robot Safety

En Route to Robot Safety

24 February 2017

Pilz Automation Technology has published a white paper covering the current trend for moving away from full enclosures for robot cells in favour of human-robot collaborations (HRC), which manage without guards where possible, but still guarantee operator safety. "En Route to Robot Safety" asserts that, in practice, each application requires a separate safety-related assessment.

Robots are classed as partly completed machinery in terms of the Machinery Directive. The two standards ISO 10218 “Safety of Industrial Robots” Part 1:
“Robots” and Part 2: “Robot systems and integration” are available for detailed safety requirements. Both parts are published as EN ISO 10218-1:2011 and EN ISO 10218-2:2011 and are listed as harmonised C standards under the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. Part 2: “Robot systems and integration” also contains information on collaborative operation, and there is an accepted de facto requirement for all safety functions to meet Category 3 / PL d of EN ISO 13849-1.

One of the most important points en route to achieving a safe robot application is to produce a risk analysis in accordance with EN ISO 12100. On robot applications, the challenge for the “risk assessment” is the dissolution of the boundaries between what used to be clearly separate work areas for human and machine.

Based on the risk analysis, the next steps are the “safety concept” and “safety design”, including component selection. The results from the “risk analysis” and “safety concept” are used to document the selected safety measures in the “risk assessment” and to implement these in the “system implementation”. This is followed by the “validation”, in which the previous steps are re-examined. Validation is essential for proving that machines are safe.

As a being a complete supplier, Pilz offers services as well as products and systems for safe robot applications. The company supports users with a services portfolio that is tailored to the individual life phases of a robot system: from process analysis to Risk Assessment, engineering and CE Marking.

Complementing the white paper, Pilz is running Safe Human-Robot Collaboration, a specifically designed course that looks at the considerations of evaluating an HRC (human-robot collaboration) application and which measures need to implemented. For more information visit: https://www.pilz.com/en-GB/services/trainings/seminars/articles/181151