Robot Safety Standard

Because of safety concerns, this is probably the most popular industrial robots standard in USA. There are also European Union, Japanese and ISO standards. One of the fastest growing markets of industrial robot is that of used robots. Large industrial users are modernizing their fleet of robots and selling the old used ones. An industry of robot re-manufacturers has developed to re-build and re-sell these robots.

A robot component that will see significant changes after this standard becomes effective is the teach pendant. Ordinary teach pendants are required to be equipped with an enabling device. This is usually a spring loaded switch that must be kept pressed in order to enable any machine motion to take place. Most people call this device a “dead man switch,” because it will deactivate when the operators drops the teach pendant in an emergency. Recent research has revealed that some people in a panic state freeze and hold onto an emergency device instead of releasing it.

The practice of placing the robot controller console anywhere it is convenient on the plant floor will not be acceptable anymore. The location of the operator controls shall be constructed to provide clear visibility of the area where work is performed. The controller and all equipment requiring access during automatic operation shall be located outside the safeguarded space of the robot. This will reduce the likelihood of equipment and machinery being operated when another person is in hazardous position.

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