ASK THE EXPERTS
More Answers From Jason Markesino
Engineering Manager, Advanced Engineering Solutions at Applied Manufacturing Technologies
- Email: jmarkesino [at] appliedmfg [dot] com
- Tel: 248-409-2000
I'm the lead CNC programmer in a relatively high-mix low-to-med-volume (20-1000pc) shop and I've been talking with the CEO of the shop about adding a machine tending robot by the end of 2019. I'm trying to educate myself as much as possible so that I can easily adapt the robot to different machine tending applications and teach the rest of my programming team to do the same. I've visited a local makerspace to start learning on the lowest possible level with some arduino and raspberry pi projects. Where else can I find educational resources to learn how to self-integrate and get familiar with robots to make our endeavor successful?
I would recommend that you work with an integrator on your first project so that you can learn from them for future projects. If we were the integrator we could help get the robot going and do the training for you. Once you have the structure and everything is running you could probably replicate it on your own. You may find that it is more efficient to just let the integrator take care of it. Depending on your layout a FANUC or UR would be my recommendation on robots. UR might work better based on cost and they usually work well for simple applications.
Hi, I am 2nd year engineering student from India. I am very much interested in the field of robotics and IIOT. But, I haven't done anything towards it until now. How can I start and which are the skills I have to master in and what is the future of these fields? Thank you.
If your college offers courses in mechatronics or electrical engineering those would be a good start. You can also tap into the resources available in the Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) at mooc.org. There are plenty of courses available in the subjects you are interested in. The future is very bright for automation. Best of luck to you!
I'm currently 2 semesters away from getting my certificate in Robotics and Automation, and am curious as to what are the best first steps to take in starting my career? The interview and hiring process, and any advice that you can give to someone looking for entry level at my current experience level, which is still actively studying, but no experience in the industry.
You've made a great career choice! There are many opportunities available in robotics and automation. Most employers recognize that no matter what degree or certification you've achieved in school you'll need additional training on the job so be ready and willing to continue learning. For the job search take advantage of the career services at your school if available. They can help with job fairs, resume reviews, interview practice, etc. Do your homework and research the companies you are interviewing with prior to the interview. Good luck!
When considering the robot as the hazard in a work cell, do you use the operating space or the restricted space to calculate safe distances to light curtains, fence, etc? 15.06 does not seem to differentiate.
Calculating safe distances for a light curtain should be calculated from the point of the hazard and the task considered, regardless of whether or not the hazard is within the operating or restricted space. The 15.06 requires the assessment of the risk to be “task based”. The evaluation of the hazard and its appropriate level of safe mitigation or counter measurer (light curtain) should be evaluated based on the task (hazard: severity/avoidance/exposure). The risk assessment evaluation will establish the safe distance from the hazard for appropriate risk reduction level for the operator.
I am reviewing standards or information pertaining to stack lights and or indicator lights. Isn't there a requirement that there is an indicator light for when the light curtains are muted?
According to the standard, the use of a muting light is based on the risk assessment. All of the jobs I have done included a muting light, and I believe some light curtain manufacturers require a light as part of the muting circuit. I was on an assignment where the bulb had burned out and the muting functionality stopped working. It is good practice to have one even if it is not required. "Depending on the risk assessment, an indicator to show when the muting function is active can be required. This indicator warns that the normal protective function is suspended."
We have two robots that do pick and place points. We are looking at minimizing the 8' cage that surrounds the line, how can this be done safely?
Good question, how can this be done safely! There are ways to accomplish your tasks, but first, the cell needs to be evaluated to ensure the current state of the equipment is able to accommodate your desired goals. To start, you need to conduct a task-based risk assessment to understand the systems capabilities as well as the operational requirements of its intended use. During this risk assessment, you will be able to access the tasks, associated hazards of the tasks (safety risks) as well as evaluate the necessary safeguarding requirements of the system as designed and built. From there, the risk assessment should define potential mitigation activities (such as where and what type of guarding is required) to ensure you meet your acceptable level of safety for your system and its operation.
Hello, In R15.06-2012, it states that there is a maximum height a barrier can be above adjacent walking areas is 7". This is to ensure that no one can come in contact with the equipment inside. In applications where there could be large build ups of combustible dust or require routine cleaning of the area, is there a different height/ acceptable alternative to the 7"? Currently there is an installation which the eentire robot system is shutdown in order to clean the area due to the height of the guarding. This dramatically hinders production and could potentially cause employees to attempt to defeat the guarding to maintain the equipment. Thank you for your help
From what I understand the 7” restriction is to protect against someone crawling under the fence. Maybe they could add a dust collection system or vacuum of some type to continually clean the area. Not knowing the layout it is difficult to understand where the issue is. If the dust is on just the floor, maybe a Roomba or multiple Roombas could run around the cell vacuuming up. If it piles on fixtures they may need a dust collection system. Is there a way to prevent or restrict the amount of dust being created. Just a couple of thoughts.
Do you have any good resources for intro / primers on industrial automation and system integration?
If you can make the trip to Automate in Chicago next month you'll have access to a wealth of the information you are looking for. There is a track on "How to Automate" that covers the basics and more. If you attend make sure to sit in on the "Automation 101" presentation by Jason Markesino at 10 am on Monday, April 8th.