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Human Motor Reactions to Dangerous Motions in Robot Operations.

Helander MG; Karwan MH
Department of Industrial Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, 1987 Mar:47 pages
In order to increase the safety factor for human workers who must work in conjunction with robots, a study was performed to analyze a robotic operation at a factory and to use this analysis to propose a model containing factors which contribute to potential safety problems, such as being struck by a robot element or tooling or being caught in a pinch point. The study was also designed to develop a mathematical model relating robot speed and human reaction time to risk of injury by the robot. The site of the visit was a manufacturing company using an arc welding robot. Later two additional robots were added to the work force. Two were hydraulic and one an electromechanical version of the other two. They were to perform arc welding of steel frames for cabinets for computers. There were about 30 welds per frame. The productivity rate using these robots increased three to four times compared to manual welding. In the robot workplace there were three different types of jobs: the robot operator, the millwright and the electrician. Factors which influenced the robotic safety included speed of robot arm movement, design of the teach pendant, and movement pattern of the robot. The current workplace lacked safety devices such as safety gates, floor mats, or lock out procedures. A painting of the robot movement envelope on the floor had faded over the time.
NIOSH-Contract; Welders; Machine-operators; Machine-guarding; Welding-equipment; Metal-industry-workers; Safety-practices; Safety-research; Human-factors-engineering; Automation; Mathematical-models;
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Department of Industrial Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, 47 pages, 16 references
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division