What Safety Standards Should be Followed for Robotic Automation?

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One of the top reasons for the implementation of robotic automation is to improve workforce safety. However, if proper safeguarding and safety measures are not put in place then new hazards can be introduced to the workforce from industrial robots. Learning and reviewing the robotic safety standards is important for ensuring a safe workspace for both the robotic manipulator and your employees. With more and more factory robots being installed each year in a growing number of industries the need for comprehensive robotic safety standards has grown. Before installing a Yaskawa Motoman MH50 or another industrial robotic arm, users should become familiar with the safety standards and conduct a proper risk assessment of their facility. Risk assessments help future articulated robot users identify potential hazards and ways in which they can be prevented. Following safety guidelines is the best way to ensure workforce safety and allow for the successful automation of your production process.

What are Safety Standards?

Safety standards are essentially a set of guidelines that define safety measures for robotic manipulator specifications, their operation, and the work environment. They are technically not required unless they have been adopted into a law. Safety standards are created by several different organizations and very by country or region. These organizations include the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the Robotic Industries Association (RIA).

What are the Safety Standards for Robots?

There are multiple safety standards for manufacturing robot arms. These include:

  • • ISO 10218:2011 - The ISO 10218:2011 is the international robotic safety standard that many countries use to base their own standards from. It is broken down into two parts. The first part outlines protective measures, the industrial robotic arm design, and information for safety using industrial robots. The second part specifies safety requirements for installing six axis robots and the robotic work cell.

  • • ISO/TS 15066:2016 - This ISO safety standard is specifically for collaborative robots. It is the first safety guideline created for the Universal UR5 and other cobots.

  • • ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012 - This safety standard is the American version of the ISO 10218:2011 and includes both parts one and two. It covers the use of safeguarding devices, risk assessments, and protective measures.

  • • RIA 15.06-2013 - The RIA 15.06-2013 is based off of the ISO 10218:2011 and the ANSI/RIA 15.06-2012. It combines both of these standards in order to set universal robotic safety guidelines.

  • • RIA TR R15.606-2016 - This is the American standard for collaborative robot safety.

Safety Standard Updates

While prior to installing handling robots it is important to learn the robotic safety standards, it is also important to review these standards even after installing and operating robots. This is because the safety standards update every few years. As robotic technology changes new hazards may be identified triggering the need for updated safety guidelines. In order to maintain a safe work environment with assembly robots, users need to be aware of any updates to the safety standards. Both the ISO and ANSI are expected to release new industrial robot safety guidelines within the next year. While it is not possible to completely eliminate risk, following these safety guidelines can significantly reduce it.

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