ASK THE EXPERTS
More Answers From Johnathan Rankin
Automated Systems Specialist at Nidec Minster Corporation
- Email: johnathan [dot] rankin [at] minster.com
- Tel: (419) 628-2331
I am looking to build a robot and need advice on the parts to buy. I want a robot to carry a load of coarse as well as fine aggregates across unduly terrain with minimum loss of aggregates. Maximum Robot dimensions: 30 * 30 cm. Dimension for the box carrying coarse aggregate is restricted to 15cm x 15cm x 15cm (box should not be closed- it should be open to atmosphere). Motors: No restriction on speed (High torque motors is preferred for the terrain). Maximum voltage: 12V.
Ashif, I would look into the irobot packbot. They are designed for military and law enforcement applications that require travel over complex terrain. This would give you a good starting place for the type of hardware you would need. Thanks, Johnathan
I'm working with a company that is supplying two ABB robots, #IRB 4600 60/2.05 & a IRB 2600 12/1.65. can you tell me what the 60/2.05 and the 12/1.65 are for. I think the 60 and the 12 are the lifting capacities? Thanks, Bruce Owen Jacobs 920-347-2017 Bruce.Owen@jacobs.com
Bruce, Those numbers are payload and reach in meters. http://new.abb.com/products/robotics/industrial-robots/irb-4600/irb-4600-data If you need anything else please don't hesitate to contact me. Thanks, Johnathan
Help! I have a rising high school sophomore who recently completed a robotics camp and loved all aspects of building and programming. Can you suggest ways to further his knowledge and education? Or, can you suggest companies that would let him observe one or two days a week after school to see robotics in a real life setting? Thank you so much for any guidance!
Donna, Thanks for posting on the RIA forum. I am glad to hear about a young student interested in robotics. We routinely invite HS students to our company for a job shadow experience. I have many contacts in the Ohio/Michigan area but not many up by you. I am sure there are some manufacturing companies or robot integrators in your area that would be willing to do the same. I can offer some contacts for the robot companies. They may have a better chance identifying robot users in your area. Another option might be for him to find a local university that has some robot classes and ask if he could observe during a few lectures. Many of the robot languages (each company has their own) are loosely based on C++ and C# so if he could do a bit of self learning on those languages he may have a head start when he sees a real robot. YouTube has many programming tutorials. I hope that helps and if you need some contact info for the robot companies, please contact me via email or phone.
We are implementing a collaborative robot with a mechanical power press. The front opening would be equipped with safety scanners on the front to prevent anyone from walking into the cell and being injured. This provides perimeter protection for anyone getting into the robot area. Our plan was to wire this into the safety relay which would e-stop the press and kill power to the flywheel. Also, when training the robot, the power to the press would be out as well. My question is do you feel this would cover guarding to the press or do we need to still have a light curtain to cover the press point of operation even though the power is killed to the flywheel when interrupted. On some of our other machines with robot setups, we have interlocked guarding around the entire machine and set up this way and have never had an issue but was just curious to your thoughts on it. I appreciate the help.
Hello Jake, There are a few more details on the safety configuration of the press (Single or Dual clutch valves, auto single stroke or continuous on demand) that need considered. With Nidec Minster being a press manufacturer, I can shed some light on the specifics of integrating robots to presses. If you want to give me a call to discuss further, I am happy to help. 419-628-1966. Thanks, Johnathan
Hi - I am an EHS Manager and I am doing a review prior to procurement of an autonomous ground vehicle to be utilized in the construction field.. Two questions - In terms of required accessories as a means to procurement we are requiring purchase of safety-rated Lidar system and wireless e-stop. 1) Is a wireless emergency stop considered to be safety-rated? I have researched that the laser scanners are. 2) Is there another standard that I should be referencing for review?
Timothy, The RIA 15.08 standard is currently being written for this type of equipment. It is expected to be done in 2019. The closest existing standard is the ANSI/ITSDF B56.5-2012, Safety Standard for Driverless, Automatic Guided Industrial Vehicles and Automated Functions of Manned Industrial Vehicles. More and more safety companies are adopting wireless safety hardware as a means to eliminate wiring. There are many of these out there but be aware of their safety CAT or SIL rating. Thanks and good luck.
We have a supplier that is designing a robot cell within a shipping container and have a few design considerations for safety that we are working through. Their planned procedure for keeping someone from being in the shipping container when the robot welding system activates is the following: a Pre-reset button for each door. The operator must therefore perform the following actions for reset: 1: Press pre-reset button in the container 2: Close the door 3: Press outside the reset button We are not sure if this meets the ANSI R15.06-2012 requirement under 5.8.3 "If it is possible to remain in the safeguarded area when the moveable guard is closed, additional measures shall be used to prevent restart. These include restart interlock, presence sending, or facilities for locking the guard open." Any thoughts on whether this would be considered sufficient to meet this standard? If not, what method is most commonly used?
Julia, In situations like this, we design our systems with a trapped key interlock that forces the operator to take out the "Robot Jog Key" from a switch on the back of the robot when they are done in the cell. That key is then used to release a safety master key that is trapped in the door. Once the master key is released, it is used to activate the master safety switch. This is just one way of doing it though. The more important thing is that an "additional measure shall be used to prevent restart" and that method be clearly documented in your RIA Risk Assessment that your supplier should be providing you. Another consideration is that all of the buttons that you mention should be dual channel and safety rated. If you would like a further explanation of the trapped key setup that I mentioned, feel free to call or email. Thanks and good luck!
What are the 10 largest manufacturers, 10 largest sellers and 10 largest users of industrial robotics? Any information would help. Thanks,
Kyle, In no specific order: Robot Manufacturers: The big 4 - Fanuc, ABB, KUKA, Motoman Other significant brands - Kawasaki, Nachi, Comau, Denso, Staubli, Adept, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Universal + about 10 more. Robot Sellers: Robot companies generally sell their own products to robot integrators that then create a robot system and sell it to the end user. Some of the top integrators: See the link below. https://www.robotics.org/Meet-The-Certified-Integrators Robot Users: - By far, any of the automotive manufacturers. - The tier 1-3 automotive part suppliers - The robot companies themselves - There are 1,000's of other robot applications but none as significant as automotive. Check out the webinar section of the website and you will find some great industry statistics. Thanks and good luck with your research.
We need to upgrade some ABB robotic palletizers because they are near end-of-life & parts are difficult to find. If we install new robots,what safety features are required for existing work cells (that were installed in 1991)? We want to minimize the investment for fencing, conveyors, gates, etc. Q- if we replace robots, do we have to modify the 1991 safety enclosure / work cell?
Hello Kevin, With any significant change to a system, there should always be a risk assessment done. The risk assessment should be done under the context of the most current safety standard. That safety standard and risk assessment would include robot guarding. Since the point of the guarding is to protect the operator against the robot and the robot is new, I would guess that some updates will need made but let your risk assessment do the talking. Follow the standard and you will truly find what needs updated. Sorry I cant offer you a more specific answer. Thanks, Johnathan
Suppose the SCARA robot is used in automobile industry for automatic assembly operation. Under which type of automation it will come. Justify your answer with brief explanation. List the advantages and limitations of the type of automation explained.
Hello Jack, Please clarify your question "Under which type of automation it will come". Do you mean: What brands sell SCARA robots? What type of movement limitations does the SCARA have? What operations do SCARA robot usually perform? Please clarify your question a bit and I'll be happy to help if possible. Thanks, Johnathan
How do I approach beginning robotics? I'm only a sophomore in high school and want to pursue a career in robotics. Is there any way to go about that?
There is everything from maintenance jobs all the way to designing the robots themselves. There are also many different areas of robotics: Manufacturing, Service, etc. First decide what type of robotics you want to pursue and then decide what level of education you are willing to invest in. -Maintenance jobs are going to require at least a HS degree and more likely a 2 year or apprentice program. -Designing robot systems, like I do, requires at least a 2 year degree + experience or a 4 year degree in electrical, mechanical or engineering technology. In some cases a masters degree is beneficial. -If you want to design the robots, you will need at least a 4 year engineering degree with the possibility of needing a masters degree. -For the highest levels of robotics R&D you may need to go all the way and get your PhD. Start reading everything you can about robots and try to learn some basic programming language like C. You have a long way to go but your hard work will pay off.
Hello, I have an undergoing project where I am supposed to calculate the time required for Point-to-Point Motion of a robot. Since I am completely new to robotics, I am finding it a little complicated. Could someone please direct me to the right literature, to find out an alogorithm through which the Total Time required for the motion can be calculated. The only parameter I have is the distance to be travelled between the points. Thanks & Regards.
Hello Narendra, You can use a software like Siemens Process Simulate that can simulate multiple robot brands if you done want to invest in multiple brand specific softwares. We use this one software to simulate Kuka, Fanuc, ABB, Motoman and a few others. If you need simulation support or have more questions please contact me. Thanks, Johnathan
I am an electrical engineer with experience in product development. I am changing jobs due to relocation to Grand Rapids, MI and looking to transition to Industrial Automation and Robotics. I know that I can leverage my experience in actuators, sensors, controls, programming, mechatronics, and data acquisition. However, I have no specific experience in manufacturing, PLCs, machine hardware, industrial robot programming, etc. How can I quickly bridge this gap and acquire the skills and knowledge I need (e.g. classes, training, events, resources)? Or can I get a company to see my potential to acquire these skills on the job?
Hello Anne, Many integrators will supply you with the extra training needed for their specific robot or plc of choice but if that lack of experience becomes a sticking point, you may consider investing in a robotics training program like what we offer our customers or a basic training course from one of the robot manufacturers. If your need any further assistance contacting robot companies or setting up training please feel free to contact me. Johnathan
Hello. I am a sophomore in college majoring in Mechatronics Engineering. I was wondering what advice do you have to someone like me who wants to get experience in this field, specifically in robotics. Are there any type of certifications I can work on that will distinguish me between my classmates? My main focus is in animatronics, but I lack the skill, experience, and knowledge of anything in robotics. Are there any types of events I can attend or programs I can look into that will help me in my path, besides going to college? Thank you so much.
Maria, You can learn a lot from conferences and trade shows. Since you are a student, there are many more cost effective or free resources to take advantage of. Try and attend things like the Automate trade show or one of the RIA safety conferences. Use the RIA website for info and resources. Look for webinars on different topics and just absorb as much as possible. If you really want to learn "robotics" there are many different skill sets in our industry. EOAT (End Of Arm Tooling) design, Motion control, Field-bus communication, Programming, Cell design, Simulation, etc are all areas that you could focus on once you start working. It's going to be hard to learn all of this with a college degree so I would use your time in school to learn some electrical and mechanical basics but most importantly learn how to learn and become a pro at that. Start applying (now) for summer Co-Op jobs with robot integrators. That is where you will really start to learn your craft. Good luck! Johnathan
I am currently a senior at Georgia Tech in Industrial and Systems Engineering. I will be pursuing a career in robotics (primarily in industrial robotics) upon graduation (currently planned on 2018). I have worked at KUKA Robotics at both Mercedes and Tesla over the summer (internship). My current degree program has NOTHING to do with robotics WHATSOEVER. I have received 5+ job offers from several companies with yearly pay ranging from $70,000-$100,000, and I have had to turn them all down because I am in school. Do you think it is worth continuing with this degree program or pursuing specialized trainings in industrial robotics like FANUC, KUKA, Siemens PLCs, etc. and taking one of these jobs? Would not having a degree keep you from rising into management?
I was in the same exact position not so long ago and they (Chrysler, Honda) wanted me to stop going to college and come right into a robotics position. They offered me $80K and that was 10 years ago. I got some good advice from an old timer where I worked. He told me that these companies will tempt you with a large paycheck but you are selling your life to the company. I would have had the best toys and a great house right away but I would have also had no life while averaging 60-70 hours a week. Personally, I was not willing to sacrifice a life with my future family for a little bit of cash in a job that had no real growth potential. I decided to finish my degree and now I work in the robotics industry but for the companies that sell the systems to Mercedes and Tesla. I know it feels great to be wanted at such an early stage in your career but you will have a much higher career ceiling with a degree. This is only my opinion and I have nothing against those who have taken that path.
Hello, what are the GPA, or course requirements a high school student in 10th grade would need to become a robotic engineer. I want to build robotic arms for veterans in need. Thanks!
Emanuel, Your GPA is important to get you into good school and to get you your first job but in the long run it is completely worthless. Try and aim for perfect grades but don't get down on yourself if you don't graduate with a 4.0. Work hard in school but also enjoy your time while you are young. Try not to go below a 3.0 GPA because you will have difficult questions to answer in your interviews. In the long run companies care less what your GPA was and more about what your capabilities and work ethic are. For that field, I would look into Bio-Medical Engineering. Remember that you will only retain around 20% of what you learn in college and you will NOT be fully equipped to be a robotics engineer when you are done. Most of what you will need as an engineer will be learned on the job. The one thing you MUST learn in college is how to learn. Learning how to learn is a lifetime skill that is way more valuable than an engineering class. Good luck and never, never give up!
In order to become a robotics-arm programmer is it necessary to take a course offered by a specific robotics-arm brand (for exmaple, KUKA, ABB, Mitsubishi)? Or is there another way I can learn? Thanks!
You do not need to attend manufacturers classes, although they are typically a very good investment. Many technical schools have courses in industrial robot programming. You can also learn on the job trough your employer. There are some good resources on YouTube that can give you a good introduction but further training will be needed. The more resources you can use the more well rounded you will be. Keep this in mind. Most manufacturers classes will be generic because they need to cater to many different customers and applications. This is fine for basic and intermediate programming. Once you become an advanced programmer, you will learn more from on the job training. Also, all of the robot companies use their own programming languages so learning one brand will not help you much for the others. You have a good foundation for the concepts of other brands but training will be needed. I am fluent in 4 robot languages and it has taken many years to get there.
Can electronics designer in a System Integration Company become a robotics engineer? What should I emphasize to learn working in my company?
It is very important for a Robotics Engineer to have a strong understanding of mechanical design and electrical design. From the perspective of someone with a strong electrical background, I would focus on learning the following areas: Statics and Dynamics - For EOAT design and robot specification. Calculus - If you have had some, just brush up on it. If you haven't, learn the basics of integration and differentiation. Robot simulation software - For cell layout design and offline programming. 3D CAD - For EOAT and dress package design. ISO Safety Standards - For cell design and risk assessment. Machine communication (Profinet, Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT, etc.) Structured text programming (C#, C++, etc.) - For robot logic programming. This will keep you busy for a while.
Hi All. I am after ideas for a robot arm that I can control to use for remote spray painting. Application requires arm to be positioned in different locations on all axis and hence would not suit a typical fixed robot paint solution. My thinking is along the lines of a Arm that can be controlled by an operator (ideally through a arm/hand interface but joystick as minimum) and then remote camera's through some form of Heads up Display to see blind spots. Any ideas and thoughts welcomed
Hello Peter, My company is developing a control system for manually operating and industrial robot via real-time human input using an industrial hand controller (like an industrial grade video game controller). We are developing this system for cutting and grinding of our castings but may it be a good fit for what you are looking for. The other part of our solution is an industrial VR headset and and industrial 3D camera for remote control with high visibility of the work area. If you want to discuss further, feel free to contact me. Thanks! Johnathan
What are the best resources to learn more about end of arm tool (EOAT) design for automotive material handling applications? Topics that I am interested in: - Interface design of tooling to robot (Specific to robot manufacturer or standard COTS interface plates) - support structure or frame (weldment vs. modular aluminum extrusion) - linear actuator selection criteria (pneumatic vs. electric) - location features on tooling (NAAMS pins, v-blocks, net pads, machined plastic) - non-marring materials for clamping interface to painted parts (UHMWPE, delrin, others?) - vision systems (correction/best fit systems such as robeye, Fanuc IRvision, 3D vision system) Also interested in end of arm tooling component suppliers, turnkey EOAT design Thanks
Brad, Your question is a bit older, so please excuse me if you have been answered already. The answer to your questions sound like they would be best answered by a system integrator. There are some integrator's that will help answer questions without charging you for their time. Our company provides a free "automation audit" where we will come to your location and help determine what type of equipment is needed for your application. While on site, we are open to any and all questions to help educate you during the process. If there is an application you need quoted, we can move forward, but there are no strings attached. Give me a call if you have any specific questions.
I am based in the UK and work with many vehicles. Can anyone help me price up, or find a robot type vehicle that can shift, move or lift cars while still being small in size? Our site is similar to a car park in a supermarket and the cars are locked or in gear so I would like something to either pull them, or lift and move them without damaging them. Thanks
Liam, I would investigate some AGV (Automatic Guided Vehicle) companies. Many of them have experience with automated forklifts. JBT is one such company. They have offices in the UK as well. JBT Corporation Ltd. Unit VI, Winchester Ave. Blaby Industrial Park Leicestershire LE8 4GZ UK firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.jbtc-agv.com/ Good luck with your project!
Our Company is a third party logistics service provider which provides end-to-end warehouse and distribution processes that helps to optimize the supply chain and the other division of our company is into planning, investing, designing and construction of warehouses for Built to Suit and third party customers. In order to be more efficient and productive in warehouse operations, our company has decided to do a study on the profitability of Autonomous Mobile Robots vs. other automation systems. I am currently doing a feasibility assessment and cost benefit analysis of Autonomous Mobile Robots on how it would improve productivity and reduce non-value added activities. Our company is interested in investing in couple of robots to optimize the operations as well as it could pave way for new customers in the future. 1. What is that we have to take into account before deciding to implement robots in the warehouse? 2. What kind of infrastructure is necessary for the robots to traverse around the warehouse (in terms of warehouse design, hardware and software)? 3. How many staffs can a robot replace?
Priya, There are many considerations, as you know, when deciding on an AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle). Payload, number of routes, battery life, guidance technology and factory infrastructure are just a few of the things that we consider when integrating AGV's. The type of infrastructure required really depends on the guidance technology that the AGV uses. Many of the leading AGV's today are using dynamic mapping to "see" the path during teaching and then use image recognition when repeating that path. This eliminates the need for embedded wire or 3D reflective target positioning. If you want to discuss this in further detail, feel free to call or email. Thanks, Johnathan
Hello, I am seeking some technical solution to automate the process of remotely emptying asbestos fiber 40L bags, that are themselves placed inside a big bag. My current solution would be to cut open the big bag on its upper side with a remote manipulator and cutter. The first challenge is then to topple the big bag as to empty it of its 40L bags. The second challenge is then to displace the 40L bags on a conveyor belt before entering a bag emptying machine. What do you think of the feasability of this process ? Most importantly, what remotely operated system allow its user to topple a big bag in order to empty it of its content ? Thank you very much for your answers.
Hello Julien, This sounds like a very interesting application. I could see a remotely controlled industrial robot arm with a cutter and vacuum cups. It could open the large bag from the top then go to the side and secure the large bag with vacuum cups. The operator would then tip the bag over with the robot and the smaller bags could fall down a chute to a conveyor. We have a system that allows the robot to be controlled via an industrial joystick controller. This may be a benefit in a system like this since there is a lot of variation in the bag shape and position. I cant say we have done anything exactly like this but we are in the business of designing custom material handling applications and we have a solution for a remotely operated industrial robot. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact me. Thanks, Johnathan - email@example.com
Hello There ! I have a deburring application for an Aluminum - transmission case . Need your suggestion on the following two main points :- 1) how to select a tool for this application. How tool wear and variation in flashes / burrs in Die casting input parts be taken care. If that is to be controlled thru robot programming or the tool thru some auto compensation feature. 2. Which option is better :- a) Component on the robot and Deburring tool fixed. b) Deburring tool on robot and part clamped on a jig/fixture. Kindly share pros and cons of both configurations mentioned in a) and b) This will help me great deal to reach a final decision. the robot here is Fanuc M-710iC / 70 Do you supply and support in Indian Market for integration and commissioning . waiting for your reply. Thank you in advance. Regards, Amit Balyan
Hello Amit, There are so many variables here but I will try to answer a couple of questions. 1) Robot compensation vs EOAT compensation: Robot compensation via force/torque sensor is more expensive but offers vast flexibility. It is also a bit more complicated to program. EOAT compensation offers usually only one axis of compensation via regulated air pressure. Effective but limited flexibility. 2) Totally depends on your process and cycle time requirements. Both are subject to the variance on the part geometry and both have their pros and cons. Sorry I cant be more specific. Feel free to reach out with specific questions. Thanks, Johnathan
Is there a subdivision within the Robotic Industries Association specifically for pharmacy automation? Or a separate industry association dedicated to that field?
Rachel, Welcome to the RIA "ask the expert" forum. It's always good to see fellow Dayton area companies posting here. Without knowing exactly what information you are hunting for, it's hard to tell you where to look exactly. I can give you a quick description of the purpose of the RIA that may help determine if you are in the right place. Three major functions of the RIA are to promote the use of robotic technology, create safety standards for robotic systems and introduce those in need of services to qualified robot integrators. When it relates to using robots from a safety stand point, any integrator working with robots would have to conform to the RIA 15.06-2012 safety standards. This would apply in a pharmaceutical environment as well as any other environment. The RIA is responsible for creating these standards along with ANSI and ISO to be enforced by OSHA. When it relates to vetting robot integrators, check out the certified integrators page. Hope that helps a bit.
Our company wants to become a reseller/ distributor for automation, robotics and virtualisation products and services in India. What is the scope of these services in India especially in the segments like: Manufacturing, Services (Healthcare, Banking & Finance, Legal, Education, Trade & Commerce, Automotive, Transportation & Logistics, Home & Workplace), Building & Construction Industry etc. How do we start?
Mr.Kumar, "How do we start" is a big question. I think it begins with being in the right place at the right time. India's automation culture is growing rapidly and it would seem that you are in a great position to be successful selling automation products. The next step is to align yourself with experienced engineering resources and robot integrators that you can learn from as you work together. The last piece is your sales network. Automation in North America and many other regions around the world are sold very successfully by word of mouth. In general, there is very little advertising in our industry. The key to selling successfully is your relationships with the companies that need automation. We sell automation through distributors like yourself. We have over 120 years of machine building experience and are one of only 31 RIA Certified Robot Integrators. If you need any assistance with robotics projects and are looking to build good relationships, please contact me. Good luck!
I need a few robots to work with frozen metal molds that are cooled with liquid nitrogen and filled with a food product and then demolded. Is there a robotics company that has worked in that environment (ultra low temp) handling food products?
Philip, I am the lead robotic engineer at Nidec Minster Corp. We are one of the RIA Certified Robot Integrator's. We can assist you with specifying and sizing a robot for your application. We specialize in integrating KUKA robots but work with all brands. Please contact me if you need any assistance or just have questions. Thanks, Johnathan
For a simple connection between PLC and a Fanuc Robot arm 200IC, what kind of PLC would you recommend ?
Mohammed, There are many different brands and types of PLC's available. Like robots, the one you select depends mostly on preference and application. In general, no matter what PLC you select there are many ways to communicate between the robot and PLC. Some more popular methods are Ethernet, Profinet (mostly used with Siemens), Device Net and simple 24 V hard wiring. I should also mention that most robot brands have an option for an internal virtual PLC. For a standalone application, this is a very cost effective option. For simple applications, I still design systems with 24 V hard wiring. For more complex systems, I prefer Ethernet/IP or Profinet. Most of this depends on the application. If you need some pointers or other suggestions please fell free to contact me. Thanks, Johnathan
We are looking for someone to write programming for the Kuka robot used in our packaging department. Is anyone in the US? Is anyone in FL or available to travel to FL? English language required. German language helpful.
Hello Jennifer, We are an RIA Certified Robot Integrator as well as a KUKA System Partner. KUKA is our specialty. We have an international presence so FL is not an issue. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested. Thanks, Johnathan
Dears, My name is Albert Gili, I am a journalist and I work in a quiz show for the Spanish television called ‘BOOM’, produced by Endemol. My job consists in writing the questions and checking if they are correct and well formulated, in order to be as precise as possible and make sure we don’t spread wrong information. Sometimes, to do this work, I need to contact to some experts, such as you, in this case. THE WORD'ROBOT' WAS FIRST USED IN THE... A THEATER PLAY THE MANUAL OF A WASHING MACHINE A COMMUNIST TREATY THE SPEECH OF A NOBEL AN ADVERTISING AD A DA VINCI NOTEBOOK A ROMANTIC NOVEL A DECLARATION OF WAR We believe that the only correct answer is A THEATER PLAY and the rest of the options are false. Would that be correct? Thank you, in advance, for your time and help. Sincerely,
Hello Albert, Technically, that is correct. The play "Rossum's Universal Robots" is the first published use of this word but it was not used in the context of what many would describe as a robot (robota in Czech) in the manufacturing world. Mr. Capek used the word to describe a man made human to be used for forced labor. Without getting too deep into the details, I would say that this is a safe assumption for your purposes. Thanks, Johnathan
Are there robots on ships?
There are a few cruise ship companies using robots for show entertainment and bar tending.
Hi, I am trying to build a flippable workbench in my garage for my tools. The idea it to have the tools on a platform that can rotate 180 degrees and lock to be suspended under the table. I am trying to find a servo or step motor that is powerful enough to flip a 40-50 pound powertool, but am not sure where to start looking. I have been playing around with a prototype using Arduino, but wanted advice on how to make a heavy-duty one. Thanks, Brian 818-312-1472
Hey Brian, Check out these guys. http://www.animatics.com/products/smartmotor Also, to do it correctly, you will need to calculate the moment of inertia of the tool to be rotated as well as the acceleration of rotation. These will give you the peak torque that is needed to help size the motor. Don't forget the friction loss due to bearing surfaces and the inertia of the motor and gearbox (if you use one). If a gearbox is used, you can use a much smaller torque motor that is faster. You will save cost by doing that vs a larger motor. If this is all a bit above your engineering abilities, I would suggest setting up a 12" long shaft to rotate your tool and use a liner scale to measure how much force it takes to rotate the tool. Once you have that, you will know how many ft-lbs of torque you need from your motor/gearbox. Then multiple by 150% to give yourself some safety factor. Its crude but it also doesn't require a mechanical engineering degree. Good luck!
Magnesium plate and sheet is 33% lighter than Aluminum. Why have we not seen Magnesium used in EOAT? Lighter EOAT means heavier payloads with the same robot, easier to machine saving on tooling costs and higher throughput meaning more parts per minute. Any help or insight would be appreciated.
Harrison, I have seen some EOAT's made with Magnesium mounting plates but not many. I think it comes down to cost and availability for the most part. I assume that Magnesium is more expensive per KG than 6061-T6 but I have not investigated it myself. Many EOAT designers (including us) are moving to carbon fiber for round tooling as it offers the best weight saving at a minimal cost impact. Aluminum will always have it's place so if Magnesium is a much better solution than I would suggest publishing some cost benefit studies on RIA. It would be interesting to see and may open some eyes (including ours) if it makes sense. Thanks, Johnathan
What is the best industrial robotic arm that can operate in a high vacuum environment (chamber) with a reach up to 72"? A couple of additional details: To function correctly it must be an anthropomorphic arm on a movable platform which is a 7th axis. Our robots must be able to operate at 10^-6 torr. There can be no petroleum products used in the robot. All greases must be replaced with vacuum grease like Krytox. Plastic materials are not good in a vacuum as they will outgas and become brittle/break. They also outgas chemicals that can destroy adhesion of our films. The payload is about 35 pounds. We use mesh files that describe X, Y and Z coordinates with and IJK vector for pointing at the substrate we are coating. We prefer no Teflon as it grows under vacuum and shrinks in atmosphere.
Krista, There is a lot to unpack in this application. It may be better to have a conversation about the application to better help guide you to the correct robot. I would start with either clean room or paint type of robots as their design intent is to eliminate environmental contamination. The grease type would have to be reviewed with the robot manufacturer but changing out the grease shouldn't be a problem. I am guessing it would void the robot warranty if it doesn't have the same lubricity as the robot spec. grease. The reach and payload should be fine. No plastic material may be a significant issue especially with the internal wiring harness. This is another item to discuss with the robot manufacturer. There is a good chance that there is a robot that will fill some of these requirements but most likely you will be looking at a customized robot arm. Thanks, Johnathan
Hi, I am building a robot that needs to sense heat from about 5 cm -10 cm away. All I need the sensor to do is when it detects something that is higher than about 35 Celsius to 45 Celsius I need it so say so. Then I will be able to execute something else. I don't know what would be the best sensor to do so. I have looked at thermal cameras, and it seems very hard to code, but I'm not sure if a sensor like DHT11 would be able to sense the heat from a distance. I would like some help to know what the best sensor would be to use.
Colby, Something like the Banner M18T may be a good fit. There are also many other manufacturers that supply something similar. You should contact a local distributor that can help with the application. Thanks, Johnathan
I'm searching for a used robot distributor in North America, but having some difficulty finding sellers of models such as ABB and Kuka industrial manipulators. So far I have submitted a few Requests For Quotes, but these have mostly been responded to by European and Chinese sellers. Can you possibly tell me what avenue is recommended to receive quotes for industrial robots?
Jay, Both KUKA and ABB have used robot inventory lists. Usually you need to be an integrator to get access to these lists. If you want to email me directly, I can put you in contact with the correct people at KUKA and ABB. Thanks!
Hello, Could anybody tell me the which market/industry makes up for most of Fanuc's business? I.e. which industry is responsible for most of its orders?
Like most major robot companies, Automotive OEM and their suppliers have historically been the largest users of industrial robots.
SRVO-062 error code. What does it mean and how do I fix it?
Hello, Just as a future recommendation, please include robot brand, model and controller version so we can help you better. I am assuming that you have a Fanuc robot. Fanuc robots have a battery backup in the arm that saves axis zero position data. When this battery voltage gets low, the system sets this alarm to warn you that the battery needs changed. If the battery goes dead and you shut off the robot, all position data will be lost and you will have to re-master the robot. There is a perfect description of this in the Fanuc manual and you should follow that procedure. In general, it goes as follows. 1) DO NOT TURN OFF THE ROBOT CONTROLLER!!! 2) Replace the batteries (see manual for location and battery type) 3) Reset the fault in the master_cal screen. I may have missed a step or two but in general that's the process. Contact me directly if you have other issues.
Im looking for smaller robot, i see the tx2-40 from staubli, i need to know if there some robot smaller in the market... communication by ethernet ip / profinet / ethercat .
Hello Sergio, Here are a few of the smallest on the market from the major players. All have flexible communication protocols. Be aware that some of these models are private labeled versions from other companies. Not a big deal but something to keep in mind. We also integrate all of these so if you need any assistance, please let me know: https://www.kuka.com/en-us/products/robotics-systems/industrial-robots/kr-3-agilus https://www.motoman.com/en-us/products/robots/industrial-robots/assembly-handling/motomini-series/motomini https://new.abb.com/products/robotics/industrial-robots/irb-120 https://new.abb.com/products/robotics/industrial-robots/irb-1100 https://www.fanucamerica.com/cmsmedia/datasheets/ER-4iA%20product%20information_367.pdf https://www.densorobotics.com/products/5-6-axis/vp-series/ Thanks, Johnathan
I'm aware of the stopping distance formula for light curtains. What if you have a physical gate that closes to prevent access to the hazard, but you have a light curtain as a 2ndary safeguard, to monitor the area in front of the gate? Does the formula still apply? Does the closing pneumatic gate count as a hazard itself?
Rassini, Your question is a bit older, so please forgive me if you have been answered already. I am having a bit of a hard time totally understanding your application but I will try and provide some guidance. In general, if there is an opening in the guarding, you can protect it with a door as long as the door is 20" outside of the robot's restricted zone. The restricted zone is determined by calculating the stopping distance of your specific robot model and adding that distance to the operating zone of the robot (where the robot path runs). The powered door does create it's own safety hazard but those safety standards are not governed by the RIA 15.06-2012. There are other ISO standards for this. If you need any help sorting through this stuff, please give me a call.
How does the robot being in a DCS zone affect the required safety distance calculation? I have seen in the RIA that there must be a 20" clearance from where a task exists, but where does that 20" factor into the safety distance calculation?
Jarid, When we have a DCS setup, I consider the calculated safety stopping distance as an addition to the defined DCS zone and the 20" is an additional clearance beyond that. DCS zone + stopping distance = "Restricted Area". Restricted Area + 20" = Fence location.
I've seen a number of references to a requirement minimum distance between a robot and guarding, specifically to prevent trapping a person between the robot and guard. I have been able to find no other requirement, and infact in ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012, Part 2 5.4.2 Establishing safeguards and restricted spaces, it states "The perimeter safeguards shall not be installed closer to the hazard than the restricted space. If the perimeter safeguard is designed to be the limiting device in accordance with 5.4.3, then the perimeter safeguard establishes a portion of the boundary for both the safeguarded and restricted spaces." This means the guard (provided it meets 5.4.3 requirements) can be used to stop the robot- obviously not a 'best practice' but still possible. So- where is this crushing distance coming from? 5.5.1 mentions "where crushing is prevented by the maintaining of minimum gaps, they shall meet the requirements in ISO 13854." but I'm not completely sure what "Where crushing is prevented..." really means. I've seen many, many cells that do not have any distance between the restricted space and the guards.
Jason, Your question is a bit older, so please forgive me if you have been answered already. The 20" crush zone is in addition to the restricted space. Operating space = robot's normal path Restricted space = Operating space + stopping distance (calculated for your specific robot model) Fence location = Restricted space + 20" The robot should never be able to contact the fence and fence should never be used to stop a robot, according to RIA 15.06-2012. If you need any more help sorting through this stuff, please give me a call.
What are the minimum requirements for guarding an articulated arm robot?
Jordan, The answer to this question is huge. If you need some guidance, please give me a call and we can discuss a bit. In general you need the following: Barrier guarding with specific dimensions called out in the RIA 15.06 - 2012 Dual channel safety hardware (that meet a required CAT level for your application) for all openings in the barrier guarding All of these dual channel safety devices correctly wired into your robot controller directly or through a safety PLC/Relays and then to your robot.
Where I am walking into a light screen where the robot is picking off the operator side of a turn table, while work is being performed on the other side. I am using the standard formula of US CAN: Ds =K x(Ts + Tc + Tr + Tbm) + Dpf. I was able to find values for each, but the standard K constant of 1600 mm/sec doesn't seem to be the correct constant for this scenario. Ds=('K'*(600+50+23))+78.625. K is a hand speed constant and as my feet and hands can move I would think the value would increase. The standard says it could be 1600-2500 and that would be determined through a risk assessment. How do I determine a speed constant through a risk assessment?
Ed, The RIA 15.06-2012 just wants you to preform a risk assessment. Document your calculations that you listed in your question and keep them on file. The risk assessment is not an engineering calculation tool, it is simply an organized way to keep track of safety issues and how/what you did to eliminate them. Everyone's risk assessment looks slightly different, but there are some nice examples on the RIA website. We can also help you with this if you need. Give me a call if you want to discuss.
What is the requirement for robot cell fencing with regards to robot impact strength? I have heard people say a "robot rated" fence is needed in certain circumstances but I can't find the term "robot rated" fence in the RIA standard.
Matt, To be in accordance to the RIA standard, the robot should never be able to impact the fence. The robot has an operating space (where the path is running). Outside of that is the restricted space that is determined by calculating the stopping distance for your specific robot model and EOAT. The restricted space is the absolute maximum distance the robot should ever "drift" once the safety monitoring limits are exceeded. Outside of the restricted space, there should be a 20" zone to allow for space for a operator while teaching. This space eliminates pinch points or crush zones. Then you have your fence. In some instances, our customers limit the space available for barrier guarding and we had to eliminate that 20". In that case, we noted that failure in our risk assessment and had the customer sign off on a liability waver. In those cases I install a "hard" guard to help protect those outside of the cell. I can give you some guidance in calculating those forces if you need.
I'm a student researcher working at an engineering research center in a college. The director of the center is interested in building autonomous robots in manufacturing floors that could sense presence around it (like autonomous vehicles), to reduce accidents when it's operating. We want to reduce redundancy in barrier guards, presence sensing devices, or any other safeguards, and also enhance more safety on a robot even though it could be programmed to limit movements spaces. Are there such robots that exist out there already? Is there a market for it?
D'Jae Ch'ng, Look into AGV's. They are commonly used in the manufacturing industry for moving parts in the plant. This is an example of an AGV that our sister company manufacturers and we sell/integrate. http://www.nidec-shimpo.co.jp/en/ptm/03/000402.html Call me if you have any other questions.
Where does the role of end user stop and integrator begin? How much can I change without assuming the role of integrator?
I assume that this is in regards to the safety liability? If you are installing and programming a robot in your own plant, all RIA 15.06-2012 standards should be followed. With an existing robot system that was designed within the 1999 standard or older, if significant changes are made to the guarding or safety systems, technically the entire cell must be updated to 2012 standards, including a risk assessment. Give me a call if you need some help with this or have any other questions.
Per the standard, can a technician be inside the safety fence manually operating the robot in teach mode (slow)? Or does absolutely all robot movement have to be done while outside the fence and all gates closed?
Brandon, The operator can be inside of the cell as long as they meet the following criteria. "Slow Mode" is no more than 250 mm/s. The operator has a 3 position enabling switch (most likely integrated into the back of the teach pendant). All other operators in the cell must have their own separate 3 position enabling switches to enable the robot to jog. Most robots have a specific safety channel for external enabling switches. A "lock out tag out" or "trapped key" system is used to ensure the gate cant be closed and the system be started while inside. When designing a system, we ask the customer how many operators will be in the system at one time and give them extra enabling switches if needed. We also have a separate trapped key system inside of the barrier guarding at the base of the robot, specifically for teaching. Its just an extra layer of protection for the operator. Hope that helps. If you need any further assistance, please give me a call.
Does ANSI require robots to be retrofit for the 2012 standard?
Tim, If the system was designed within the 1999 standard or older, you do not have to update to the existing standard unless significant changes are made to the guarding or safety systems. Even though it is not required to update, I would still do a risk assessment to have on file. If you need help with this give me a call.
I have a question regarding perimeter safeguarding, or fencing. I remember in previous standard, that the requirement was to have 18" from the perimeter safeguarding to the programmed path of the robot in T1 APV. I don't see a similar requirement in the 2012 standard. What I do see is that it states that the perimeter safeguarding cannot be installed closer than the restricted space (5.4.2). Also, it states that perimeter safeguarding can the limiting device if it meets 5.4.3. Note 4 states that it can only be so if it does not have any hazardous deformations to the guard. So my questions are this: Is there something still in existence that looks at this from a T1 aspect of things and stipulates how far the fence needs to be from the operating space? Also, If I build my fencing to withstand a full force collision without hazardous deformation, can the fencing then be the restricted space? Thanks.
Scott, Since RIA 15.06-2012 was created to conform to a world ISO standard, many of those distances have been adopted from ISO and are simply referenced in the RIA document. Answer 1: Restricted Space: "Portion of the maximum space restricted by limiting devices that establish limits which will not be exceeded" This definition was taken from ISO 8373:1994, Def 4.8.2. We are currently using a 20" clearance dimension between robot/eoat and guarding, after stopping times/distances (Calculate using ISO 13855) have been added. See RIA 15.06 5.5.2 for the 20" reference. Answer 2: We recently installed a system with a similar constraint. The customer didn't have the floor space for the robots restricted space + 20" so we had to install a "hard guard" to protect anyone on the outside of the fence.Technically it was not safe because there was still not 20" to eliminate the crush hazard while teaching but we noted it in the risk assessment and had the customer sign a special waver.
Does the RIA standard have any bearing over conveyors or other equipment within a cell/fence? I.E. a conveyor that runs parts into the cell so the robot can pick them up does not stop when the gate switch is opened. I believe this falls under our normal risk assessment program for every job a technician goes to, but I am being pressured form an individual to change the system to include the conveyors and clamping systems that are in the same cell. All pieces of equipment have local lock out/tag out stations including the air system for the clamps. Do you have any guidance?
Mike, The 15.06 standard is specifically for robot cell safety. It references conveyors and guarding in relation to how easily a human could reach into the cell to be injured by the robot/eoat or how the robot reacts when the guarding is open or closed. It also outlines the dimensions of the guarding in relation to the robot's reach. Many of the ISO standards that the 15.06 references go into more detail on conveyors. Another good standard to reference for "machines", including conveyors is ANSI B11. In general, the 15.06 and most other standards are going to recommend/require you to include that stuff in a risk assessment. In our cells that have robots and conveyors, we include all equipment in the same risk assessment. If you have any other questions, please call or email me. Good luck!
Looking for input on best practices for robot cell entry. My company is large, multi-plant, and we are trying to standardize a method for operator entry for minor tasks. Narrowed this down to servo motor entry or trap key entry. Interested in pros and cons of both methods.
Melissa, In my experience, I have leaned towards trapped key for its simplicity of integration (less wiring) if configured correctly. The downside is that the interface is a bit more complex to understand initially. We almost always get questions from operators about what key to use where and it seems overly complicated. After a week of using the system, its pretty easy to pick up for most. Another advantage of trapped key is the required robustness of the locks to maintain a safe system. Trapped key systems, such as those from fortress interlocks, seem to last for a very long time. Servo locks are convenient but a bit more expensive and complex. In general, I prefer a system that forces more intentional actions to enter and exit a cell. It seems to engage the operator more and that helps them focus on safety. There are many more pros and cons to both but this is just a few that we have observed. Good luck and if you need any further assistance please contact me.
I am trying to find the standard for distance of physical barriers and light curtains. If I set soft limits in my robot configurations how much buffer space Is needed? I see 20" for semi-auto. Does the 20" also apply for automatic?
Joe, You must also take into account the stopping distance for your specific robot with it's specific payload. You should maintain 20" from the stopping distance of the robot. Depending on what brand you are using, most robot manufacturers have a stopping chart to help estimate this distance. A good robot integrator can help with this as well. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. Thanks, Johnathan
Is the RIA 15.06 1999 risk assessment method still valid and usable for official documentation?
Frank, The 15.06 1999 was replaced by the 15.06 2012. While there are some things that did not change, the 15.06 2012 should be the only document used when designing new systems. One advantage that the 1999 standard had was that most of what you needed was called out in one document. The 2012 standard was designed to be more of an international standard so many parts of it reference ISO standards. So to have a complete standard you will need the 15.06 2012 as well as some other ISO standards.
When using wire mesh fencing is there a requirement to purchase software options like FANUC DCS that would prevent the robot from sticking a welding nozzle through the openings in wire mesh fencing? It seems to me that you could have the robot stick the welding nozzle or wire through the mesh openings. Obviously we wouldn't intend anyone to program the robot that way but I am not sure if purchasing the DCS software is a requirement?
As far as the 15.06 is concerned, there is no mention of requiring DCS in any type of robot cell. When doing an operation like grinding or cutting where you could have an abrasive wheel explode, it is recommended to use poly-carbonate panels to protect the operators. If the the correct 15.06 guarding distances are observed, the robot/weld gun should never be able to reach the fence no matter if DCS is used or not. So the only concern I can see is the wire being able to somehow find it's way through the fence and poke someone. If it's a welding system you will most likely have flash curtains somewhere in the cell so you may consider putting them up in the areas that you are worried about. If it's a new cell it couldn't hurt to put up some poly panels. The main thing that you should focus on is documenting those concerns in your risk assessment and coming up with a fix based on reasonable severity and exposure scores. Good luck!
As an RIA certified integrator is it required to do a risk assessment?
Yes. On every job.
I am reviewing risk assessments for a robot system. The assessments seem to give a standard that should be meet and not what was actually done? I was trying to find a "gold " standard for a risk assessment. I looked at ISO/TR 14121-2 but their example didn't match a complex system. My searches online have not be fruitful. Is their a "gold" standard example of a robot risk assessment?
Brian, There is an RIA format that we use that looks at each task preformed in and around the cell and how to mitigate those risks. We took that format and expanded it to include more variables for complex systems. Since there no required risk assessment format called out in the standard, it is up to the integrator to create a robust assessment, preferably based on a proven format. There are also software's available that attempt to guide an integrator in creating a robust risk assessment. If you need assistance with your risk assessment or if you have any other questions please feel free to contact me. Thanks, Johnathan
We have purchased and have been reviewing R15.06 to obtain some direction on the following scenario: If we have an engineer that is teaching another engineer to program a robot, and both need to be in the operating area as part of the process, how do we handle control of the pendant? Our understanding of the standard is that only the person with control of the pendant can be within the operating area. If this is the full intent of the single-control concept, are there suggestions on how to handle training?
Good Morning Kerry, For a second person in the cell during teaching, you must have an external enabling switch integrated into the safety system. It is a similar function as the enabling switches on the teach pendant but it is just a handheld button rather than an entire teach pendant. I have some examples that I can provide if you would like. Please feel free to contact me if you need any further assistance. Thanks, Johnathan
How should I know what standards are applicable on my robots while installing it in USA. Is there a governing body or single source which can lead me to mandatory and non-mandatory requirement ?
Sumit, The North American safety standard that governs robotic systems is the RIA 15.06 2012. A copy of it can be purchased through the RIA. If you have any specific questions please feel free to contact me. Thanks, Johnathan
We are migrating from the R1506-1999 standard to the R1506-2012 format. So several questions. 1. Can we continue to use the R1506-1999 standard if we choose to do so? 2. With the R1506-2012 standard, do we need to attempt to gain a “negligible” status, or is “low” suffice? Or is that for us to define? 3. Can we apply the term “prevented” or “effectively mitigated by design” to physical barriers, someone can overcome, defeat or remove them if they really want. Even if they are at the defined standard of 55". Thanks. Your review and feedback is appreciated.
Joe, There are too many questions to answer here in one response and some of the answers may be complicated. Feel free to contact me via email if you would like to discuss further. In short: 1) For any new systems, you must follow the 2012 standard. 2) This depends on the application and hazzard 3) "really want to" is the key term here. Anyone can overcome any safety if they want. As long as the size and connection type of the barrier is to the standard and that is documented in a risk assessment then you are ok. There are other things that we do to discourage the "really want to" people above and beyond the standard requirements.
Can Presence Sensing Device Initiation (PSDI) be used in the US? Not a Mechanical Power Press.
Andrew, That really depends on the device and what safety category the manufacturer has achieved. This is still a bit of a grey area in some applications but the industry is starting to come around to the idea. The best thing to do is get an RIA risk assessment done to determine if its viable for your application. Thanks, Johnathan
I am working through a risk assessment and I'm trying to reconcile a situation where where a forge tending robot may hit somebody working within the die space of the press. This would be a hazard during die change, servicing the tool, prep, etc... I've identified this to be a medium risk. The obvious solution is to require that the robot be locked out during these activities but that seems like it would fall under the categories of Admin. Controls and/or Complementary Protective Measures which means they are not good enough for a medium risk. Any advice on this or perspective would be greatly appreciated.
David, We are a stamping press manufacturer and robot integrator so we run into this problem often when we have two presses in a cell being tended by one robot. The cell must continue to run while one of the two presses is having its die changed. We have reconciled this hazard by adding two sets of light curtains to the die space. One set on the front where die change happens and one on the rear where the robot loads/unloads. The two sets of LC work in a muting configuration. 1) When the press is in die change mode or if the front LC is broken, the rear set protects the die space from the EOAT. You will have to set the rear LC off of the press based on the stopping distance of the robot and the response time of the LC circuit. 2) When the robot is in the die space, the rear LC is broken and the front is guarding the die space. There are also easier ways that are less automated. Email me if you want to discuss further.
ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012, Part 1, 5.9.2 requires an indication, clearly visible from within the safeguarded space, of those robot(s) that have been activated shall be provided. How is this normally accomplished?
Brian, This can be done in many ways but I have seen it in the following configurations: 1) In a single robot system, there is a stack light mounted to the barrier guarding that will turn on when the servo drives are enabled. 2) In a multi-robot cell, that light is mounted directly to each robot in a high and clearly visible location somewhere on the upper arm. Most (if not every) robot has a system output for drives on/off. This output can be wired directly to the light if not already being used or it can be sent to a PLC and then turned on via ladder logic. Thanks!
We are trying to find ways to make it easier for maintenance personnel to utilize multiple enabling devices. Right now, we seem to either have the option of using detachable enabling devices (which is detected by our control system), or to use enabling devices with really long cables that can reach across the cell. The problem with the detachable option, is that the extra required step of plugging them in massively reduces how frequently they are used. The perfect solution in my mind would be wireless enabling devices. Do these exist? If not, what ways have other people solved this problem?
Hello Jake, We have used this supplier for wireless e-stop devices and I believe they have a wireless cat 4 dual channel enabling switch. It's not on the website but I think it's in their catalog. http://humanisticrobotics.com/remote-control-systems/ Thanks, Johnathan
We have a packing line with a small LR Mate that loads parts in a box. Its actual movement is minimal. It rotates about 30 deg, Picks up a part using a magnet. Raises about 12 inches and moves back 30 deg then lowers the part into the box. Its speed could be set really slow as the next part is not ready for 30 seconds. Is there a speed at which this type of setup is not considered dangerous or at least does not require full guarding. Maybe just guarding the part pick up point.
Tim, The 15.06 states that "safe speed" is 250 mm/s. That is why robot jog speeds are capped at this 250. But even in jog mode, you must still have enabling switches for pinch/crush concerns. If the robot is in automatic mode, there is really no safe speed that would allow for elimination of guarding. Collaborative robots are designed to get around this issue with various types of redundant torque or impact monitoring. This allows them to run without guarding unless the EOAT or part presents added danger. I would suggest investigating a collaborative robot if you are looking to reduce safety guarding. Let me know if we can help with the application. Thanks!
We build custom robotic inspection and assembly machines. We have a project on the shop floor that has a 6 axis robot. The robot is guarded on 3 sides with a cabinet and a fence. The 4th side is open for operator loading/unloading and it has a safety light curtain. Our customer wants us to program the robot to stop motion when light curtain is broken and resume motion after light curtain is cleared and the operator presses a safe to resume switch 2 times. They do not want us to E-stop the robot in this situation forcing several steps to recover. The light curtain is wired through a safety relay and there are a few E-stop switches around this cell also. Is this robot stop and resume method something that would be considered acceptable to RIA standards?
Depending on robot age, brand, controller series, safety software and many other factors the following should apply: If all guarding circuits are in series and wired into the robot's "EAS" (FANUC), "Operator Safety" (KUKA), etc. inputs then the robot will come to a controlled stop (Ex: KUKA's stop 1). This is a controlled deceleration and motor shutoff once stopped. To restart you would clear and reset the safety fault (as you described). This is different than an "E-Stop" where all motors are shut off and the robot stops under only brake power (non-controlled, has its own robot circuit). It is not recommended to have the E-Stop switches in series with the guarding signals for this reason. I would suggest separating these two circuits and it should function the within the design intent of the robot company. The most important thing you should do is document this on your risk assessment and review/approve with your customer. Avoiding safety related issues starts with a thorough RA.
Our facility has recently purchased a collaborative robot. We are looking to do safety and risk assessment training. We are in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. The closest event to our facility is in Corning, New York on 11/1/18. My question is do you provide any onsite safety and risk assessment training, and if so, what is the cost to have a trainer come here. Robots are up and coming in many of our facilities, so we would want to provide training to everyone involved. I am hoping you can help us.
Hello Laurie, I work for an RIA certified robot integrator. We offer training in robotics and we offer risk assessments as a service but do not have formal training developed for this. We would love to help but you would be better served contacting the RIA directly for training from them. Please visit this page and it will get you connected with the right people at RIA. https://www.robotics.org/in-house-training.cfm If you need any assistance on the robotic integration side, feel free to reach out. Thanks and good luck! Johnathan
How many people can be in the safeguarded space for each available teach pendant? Does everyone in the space need an enabling device?
Hello Joe, The teach pendant enabling switch is designed to protect one person being in the cell while the robot is being jogged in teach mode. Any additional person in the guarding while jogging needs a their own 3 position enabling switch. There can be multiple switches added to allow for 2 or more additional people. No matter what, make sure to document anything like this in your risk assessment for future reference. Thanks, Johnathan - 614-537-0528
It is permissable to guard a robot using only a laser scanner to detect operator approach and stop movement or is a barrier (such as a fence) required?
Clinton, For many robots, a safety scanner alone is not sufficient since they have lower safety category levels than say a light screen. This is because a scanner is "a re-programmable safety device". To do this, you must have the correct safety check software (KUKA = Safe operation, Fanuc = DCS, etc) running on the robot controller. This software helps the system perform at a higher safety category level than what you can achieve with a scanner alone. You can set up multiple zone outputs in most scanners. In general, you would use the outer zone output to slow the robot a bit and notify the operator that they are in the zone, the second zone would be 10% once the operator is still out of reach but getting closer. The third will stop the robot in its path. The distance for these zones depends on the worst case deceleration curve for that robot model with EOAT and parts attached. Lastly, you really need to do an air tight risk assessment to uncover any other hidden risks. Thanks!
I am a safety specialist and I am trying to find any recommendations/requirements related to a robot brake test and the periodicity of such a check? I know the new KUKA robots come with an installed brake test. I write safety specifications and I am just trying to set some criteria. I would like to do more than just say "comply with the manufacturer's requirements for periiodic brake tests" if possible. Any thoughts or help would be appreciated.
Hello Jonathan (Great name by the way), I work for a KUKA system partner and have 10+ years experience with KUKA. I can speak to how their system works. In the KUKA "safe operation" software, there are two functions that must be carried out to ensure the robot arm is able to perform at the safety level that is required by the RIA 15.06. One is the mastering check. In that check, a dual channel prox switch is placed in the cell and the robot has to move a two prog fork to its location for a position check. The second is a brake check. In this check, the robot applies the brakes and moves each axis to see if there is any movement. When safe operations is enabled in the safety configuration, both of these tests must be carried out once per day and/or after each power cycle of the controller. There is a subroutine that is written that tries to run these tests. If they are not required, the program just skips to the next subroutine. Feel free to email me with more questions. Thanks!
I understand that safeguarding multiple people in the workspace require each have his own enable device. Does that mean, when one enables his device, the other devices will be disabled?
Usually the enabling devices are wired in series so when one is "off" the entire circuit will be disabled. The extra enabling devices are only enabling switches and do not have any control over robot jogging. If the enabling devices are not needed, they can be placed into a fixture with a safety switch that is in parallel so the circuit can still be enabled if only one person is in the cell. Once the enabling device is removed from that fixture, the safety system now looks for the enabling switch to be "on". I hope that makes sense. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions.
Are there requirements to have awareness devices like tower lights on our robot cell? I would like to have some lights signal when the robot is in normal operation, Teach Mode, or if there is an error, but I would like a standard to provide to request the capital. Thank you, Holly
Hello Holly, In the RIA 15.06-2012 is mentions a required status light when the servo drives are enabled. I can't recall it's location in the standard right now. There are no safety requirements for a status light to notify of operation mode or faults, but it is a good idea. If you have any other questions please let me know. Thanks, Johnathan
What software language is being used in the robotics industry that's the most efficient to program robots?
Alfonso, Most robot companies use their own language but there are similarities to all of them. Most use a loose form of C to handle logic decisions. If...Then, While...Do, etc. Most have similar types of motion calls. Lin, PTP or J, CIRC or Arc. In general, if one is learned then most others can be easily picked up. I learned on KUKA but am now fluent in 4 different languages and the main thing I struggle with is syntax differences. I don't think there is a "best" language but in my experience, I am glad I learned a more complex system like KUKA first. I also really liked Denso's language and offline programming software. I find it to be very simple and intuitive. Motoman, for example, is almost totally logic block based where you simply pull a command out of a menu and it does the syntax for you. Denso is the exact opposite. You must know all of the syntax. KUKA is a nice in between. If uses logic blocks and/or structured text. In general, its all preference.
Is there a master list of manufacturers that build robots for manufacturing applications. We are interested in robotic welders?
Is there a master list of manufacturers that build robots for manufacturing applications. We are interested in robotic welders?
Brian, Most of the major robot manufacturers have established welding systems. I will give a you a list of some of the major companies in no particular order. KUKA - Have many different types of robots, including welding. FANUC - Have many different types of robots, including welding. Yaskawa/Motoman - Have many different types of robots, including welding. ABB - Have many different types of robots, including welding. OTC - Smaller company but specialize in welding applications. KAWASAKI - Have many different types of robots, including welding. NACHI - Have many different types of robots, including welding. CLOOS - Lesser known but specialize in only welding. There are many other robot manufacturers that I didn't mention. These are just a few of the major players in general robotics and/or welding. I am the lead robotics engineer at Nidec Minster Corp. We are a RIA Certified Robot Integrator. If you need any assistance with an application, please let me know. Thanks, Johnathan
I am looking for integrators who do work in IML Labeling (pick and place?). Placing labels on a mold surface of a blow molding or injection molding machine.
Hello Tom, We are an RIA Certified robot integrator that specializes in material handling and we do a lot of pick and place operations into and out of metal stamping equipment. It is not exactly IML but there are very strong similarities. If you are interested in talking please reach out. Thanks, Johnathan
Where are the batteries located on an otc Daihen almega ax-v6l robot with a ax-c controller? Thanks.
Jeffrey, I have the electrical manual for the AXCMN1. If that is your controller, please email me and I will send you a screen shot of the battery replacement procedure. Thanks!
Our company is looking to purchase a new welding robot. Which is more user friendly and which would you recommend....Panasonic or Motoman?
Hello Jessica, Both make a good robot and have good welding interfaces. Of these two specific brands, Motoman is much more mainstream in the north american robotics industry, thus more programmers with experience and a larger support network. I can't answer who has a better interface because that's just my opinion but if you were looking to train someone, Motoman has a very extensive training program. If you need assistance with your project, please let me know. Thanks, Johnathan
Hi, I am a manufacturing engineer with a lighting company and we are interested to purchase an arc-welding cell/robot. This is the first time we are exploring robotics. I know choosing the right integrator is very important in the process. I was wondering if you can tell me who are the three top integrators in the arc-welding world? I appreciate your help.
Hello Panahi, Welcome to the robotics world. You are correct, the choice of integrator is crucial. The RIA has a certified integrator program for helping vet integrators. The company that I work for, Nidec Minster, is a certified integrator and we are one of only 30-40 in North America that have the qualifications to pass the audit and testing required. With that being said, we could (and would love to) sell you a welding cell but we are not the leaders in this section of the industry. When choosing an integrator, be weary of working with a company that says they are good at all types of robot applications. We are more on the material handling side of the industry. I would look into Wayne Trail. They are owned by Lincolin Electric and have a very good welding applications group. I am happy to introduce you to them if you would like or you can just find their information on the RIA website. Good luck and keep us in mind if you have any stamping automation or material handling needs