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Safety Questions

Question Asked:

We are working on a small 6-axis robot (7kg rated) application that has the safety enclosure much smaller than the robot reach. Hard stops on the axis points are not feasible for the required motion and the safety rated (Cat3, PLd) planes that can be programmed inside the enclosure are also not feasible due to safe distance calculations for "overshoot." We believe that our only option is to build an enclosure that is strong enough to contain the worst case inertia of the robot and payload, which would be coasting into the enclosure after crossing the safety plane. We can do the math to determine the inertia and can develop a simulated impact test on enclosure parts, but we don't know if there are any specific requirements, test methods, pass/fail criteria, documentation, etc. that we should be following. Is guard strength testing the correct solution for our application and is there any industry guidance on conducting this guard validation?

1 Answers

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Lee Burk - Manager, Training & Standards
Pilz Automation Safety L.P.
l [dot] burk [at] pilzusa.com
(734) 354-0272

David, It seems a bit odd that the safe limited motion function does not work within the limits of your enclosure. The controller should be able to calculate and perform the speed reductions required to maintain the robot within the programmed physical limits. The enclosure may be used to restrict the robot motion. The performance requirements for the guards would be the same as those of any other mechanical limiting device, rated load, maximum speed, maximum and minimum extension. Refer to RIA R15.06, Part 2, 5.4.3.

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