Intelligent Robotics Safeguarding

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-0293

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
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Affiliated:
Abstract:
Advances in technology allow machine safeguarding to shift from a system that completely shuts down the hazardous part of a machine regardless of the action, to one with a controlled response. It can be based on conditions such as the type of task, how it is performed, entry and exit locations, and operator movement within the hazard zone. A variety of options are available using existing principles with enhanced safety features. Component reliability data is used to calculate predicted failure rates. When it is used as part of a preventative maintenance program to replace components before they fail, it becomes a tool to reduce the probability of operators requiring increased future access into the hazard zone. Programming techniques such as function block to monitor component usage can be used to track actual system use and adjust reliability calculations. SQL databases can track trends for access and frequency, leading to design improvements or as an indication of other changes affecting the system. Advanced 3-D safety sensing devices provide additional flexibility for the use of zones and tracking intrusion, without creating barriers to interfere with operator movement or increasing the incentive to bypass safeguarding. They can also be used with manual load and unload stations to monitor the frequently changing required safeguarding conditions and enable more design options to improve ergonomics. Machines using safe motion can reduce speed and monitor position to allow for control through zone sets instead of forcing a complete shutdown. The inherently safe design of the power and force collaborative robot allows for more interaction and mobility to quickly adapt to changing needs.
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