Multi armed robot in Food packaging industry.

Robotics and Safety Standards

Robotics technology and its relevance in today’s world

Manufacturing industries has been applying newer technology to make production more efficient, cost effective and with less time and more quality. Automating many of the production units has been a key to maintain the quality of the products and also improve the productivity level. Robotics technology has been of great assistance in automating many of its tasks. The advantage being that the robots can be made to do challenging tasks that could be riskier for humans.

Change is constant and that remains the same in the field of robotics as well. It is ever evolving to match the needs of the manufacturing industries. To stay ahead in this intense competitive world, industries will always look for ways to increase their productivity without compromising quality. The demand for new robots has been on arise. More than the traditional industrial robots, there is now the need for the newer collaborative robots and mobile robots.

Safety Standards – Current Robots

Every robots designed and manufactured should comply with a set of safety rules. Each type of robot will pose different kinds of safety issues. For example, the industrial robots will have its own set of safety standards which may not be the same for collaborative robots and mobile robots. Whenever there is an emergence of new robots, the safety standards need to be updated to cover the new safety challenges it may cause.

ISO 10218 part 1 & 2, and RIA R15.06 are the safety standards currently being used for robotics. Both the standards cover safety protocols to be followed for industrial robots. They are almost the same with a few minor variations. The difference is on the protocol on robotics operation across international borders. The goal for such a safety standard is to lay restrictions to protect human staff and create a safety zone. While working with robots, you need to make sure that the restricted zones are used only for maintenance and safety zones cannot be accessed during operations.

Safety Standards – New and Upcoming Robots

Safety standards need to evolve as robotics evolves. For traditional robots, the standards have been pretty straightforward. This will change for mobile and collaborative robots. The kind of functions these robots perform need to be taken into consideration and this has to be updated in the safety standards. The first rule to be thrown out of the window is the safety and restricted zones. Similarly, other points need to be covered based on the working of these robots.

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