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Safety when Working Around Robots

Monday, May 4, 2015
posted by IMT-Webmaster

Robots have become a permanent fixture for manufacturing production lines. The robots now work hand in hand with human employees. This brings many advantages regarding the precision, quality of the outcome and speed of manufacture. However, these benefits come with health and safety concerns, reason enough to take the following measures to make this partnership between man and machine beneficial.

Assess the Level of Risk
You need to identify any potential hazards in the workspace. The risks are different for each robot, reason you need to treat each robot as an individual entity. When assessing the level of risk, consider the workspace setup, maintenance strategies, and access to emergency facilities. Additionally, understand the rules regarding health, safety and system integration. The purpose is to find out whether your workspace sticks within expected rules.

Test, Test, and Test more
Before implementing a robotic strategy, examine various aspects. Try to check out robotic movements and compare this with the available space. Work out potential accident scenarios and obstacles in a 3D virtual world.

Testing tells you more about your system and allows you to seek expert guidance regarding any problems. An expert can give you tips on setting up safeguards to handle potential safety hazards and concerns.

Provide Employee Training and Development Regularly
The robot is automated and will work as instructed. However, human minds aren’t programmed and need to understand how the robot works to make the collaboration productive. Let the employee know how the robot works through employee training and development sessions. Test the knowledge of the employee before putting him or her in the workspace.Additionally, give your employees full access to necessary protective tools and equipment to reduce severity of accidents, in case they happen.

Control Robot Features, to Minute Details
Most of the robots come with software for customizing automated features. The use of software makes it easy for you to create a more controlled and safe environment.
You can also enable and disable the zones where the robot can access. For instance, you can disable robotic movement where human traffic is high.  High robot speed is one of the causes of accidents in manufacturing lines. Use the software to define maximum robot speeds.

Manufacture Faster, Safely
Using these tips, you can allow robots within your working space without the risk of injuries. All this comes with an increase in speed of production, precision and high quality.

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