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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?
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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
Kevin - There have been changes in the safety standards for robots since 1991. If you modify an existing robot, I believe you are 'grandfathered' into old standards and no safety changes are required. If you replace an older robot with a new one, then all of the new standards will need to be followed. I will be happy to help you with a replacement solution, if you like. APT, though, is an exclusive Level IV FANUC integrator, so we would be looking to use one of FANUC's palletizing robots. We would conduct a full risk assessment for what your current cell design looks like, and provide a listing for conveyors, safety fencing, etc. that could be reused with a new robot. Please let me know if you would like to have further dialog on your project and the automation solutions available through APT.