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Practical aspects of safety system implementation for robotic work stations.

Sneckenberger JE; Kittiampon K
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, West Virginia University 1986 Sep; :1-17
Methods of controlling the safety hazards created by the introduction of robots into a manufacturing environment were discussed. Since most of the accidents caused by the use of robots in the workplace stem from the worker being in the robotic work zone, preventing unauthorized personnel from entering the robot work zone should significantly reduce the occurrence of these accidents. The use of barriers may decrease the flexibility of the manufacturing facility. Some individuals do need to be in the work area to provide maintenance and teaching operations to the robot. A three level safety control scheme was developed. At the first level, a yellow caution light is activated and robot speed is reduced by 30 percent when penetration of the workstation perimeter is detected. At the second level, pressure mats detect intruders on the floor surface within the workstation but outside the robot work envelope; a red flashing light and an audible beeper are activated and robot speed is reduced by 60 percent. At the third level, ultrasonic sensors detect an intruder inside the robot work envelope. Such an intrusion activates a loud continuous horn and causes the robot to stop. This three level scheme was implemented and tested and the difficulties encountered at each sensing level are presented and discussed.
Purchase Order DSR-84-0635; Safety-research; Safety-practices; Safety-engineering; Automation; Workplace-studies; Work-areas
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Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, West Virginia University
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division